For the first time since the beginning of the refugee crisis in Turkey, there are more Syrian children in school than out – as of November, over 490,000 Syrian children are currently enrolled in formal education, a 50% increase in enrolment since the end of the previous school year in June 2016.
Over 100 Temporary Education Centres (TECs) were upgraded or provided with essential furniture in December, bringing the total number of TECs supported in 2016 with this intervention to 259.
Almost 87,000 children attended regular, structured psychosocial support (PSS) programmes in 2016, of whom over 14,600 were identified with serious child protection concerns and referred to relevant specialized services.
In western Turkey, UNICEF-supported outreach teams reached nearly 68,900 children and their families with basic relief items in 2016, and provided almost 12,000 children – including 520 UASC – with immediate legal and PSS counselling, as well as urgent medical assistance.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
# of Syrian children affected out of
# of Syrians affected
UNICEF Appeal 2016
Syria Crisis: US$ 124.2 million
Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe: US$ $7 million
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
In 2016, Turkey maintained its tragic distinction of being the largest refugeehosting country in the world, with over 2.8 million Syrian refugees – almost half of whom are children – in addition to nearly 300,000 asylum seekers and refugees from across the world (primarily Iraq and Afghanistan). Less than 10% of Syrian refugees live in 24 official camps along the Syrian border, while the remaining 91% reside in host communities – mostly in the southeast, but also increasingly in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara and other cities in the north and west.
At the same time, Turkey remains a leading transit country for refugees and migrants on the move toward Europe. Though numbers dropped significantly since the implementation of the EU-Turkey Deal in March 2016, over 176,600 people crossed by sea and land from Turkey to Greece in 2016 (including nearly 1,700 during December), while some 37,000 were rescued or apprehended – and more than 400 are believed to have died in the attempt. Under the framework of the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement, 3 rounds of returns took place in December for 53 adults – predominantly single men from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan – bringing the total number of people re-admitted to Turkey in 2016 to 801.
The scale of these twin crises continues to place enormous strain on the country’s infrastructure and essential services, particularly in host communities. The needs remain especially acute in education, child protection and other basic needs.
According to the Ministry of National Education, more than 490,000 Syrian children are enrolled across the country – representing a 50% increase from the end of the last school year in June, and demonstrating that efforts to increase enrolment throughout 2016 have achieved concrete results. Nevertheless, it is estimated that some 380,000 children remain out of school. Refugee and migrant children and youth – particularly those who are out of school – are highly vulnerable and at heightened risk of isolation, discrimination, economic and sexual exploitation and child marriage. It is also harder for many to adjust to formal education after having been away from school for so long – some for several years.
To respond to the growing humanitarian needs, in 2016 UNICEF worked closely with the Government of Turkey and NGO partners to expand and strengthen existing national systems, increase access to quality, inclusive education and protective environments for children, and help ensure that the basic needs of the most vulnerable families were supported.