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The challenges and our response

With more than 3.6 million Syrians living within its borders, Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees in the world. Ninety percent of Syrians in Turkey live in host communities and therefore face economic pressures to cover rent and living expenses while job and livelihoods opportunities are often limited.

As the Syrian civil war grinds on, Syrians in Turkey are uncertain of if and when they will be able to go home, if ever, making it essential for refugee assistance programs to foster self-reliance and social cohesion between refugees and host communities.

Healthcare: International Medical Corps supports primary health care centres to increase refugees’ access to medical services. The facilities offer free primary health care, including pediatric clinics, as well as reproductive and maternal health care, and mental health and psychosocial support. We are also resuming our physical rehabilitation services for Syrians living with physical disabilities, many of which are the result of war wounds. 

In addition, International Medical Corps has established a Health Special Needs Fund (HSNF) that makes funds available to cover the cost of advanced lifesaving health care services for Syrian and other refugees suffering from conditions not covered by temporary protection health care.

Mental health and Psychosocial Support: International Medical Corps provides psychological support for refugees through our partner organisation in Turkey. This includes individual counseling sessions with psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, who can provide higher-level care and referrals if needed, as well as emotional support through educational and recreational activities. These activities can include theater festivals, workshops in movie-making, games, life skills trainings, and other activities that bring people together—most often children and adolescents

Protection: Refugees are exposed to an immeasurable protection risks as they flee Syria and try to make their way in a foreign country they know little about, especially when finances are stretched and desperate families are pushed by circumstances to offer their children for child labour or early marriage. International Medical Corps is working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in Turkey by providing case management for existing cases, offering mental health support for survivors, and helping empower Syrians through training and skills-building activities. We also work with children and adolescents in community centres and child-friendly spaces and provide case management services for any protection cases.

Capacity Building: Working with local partners, including NGOs, municipalities and other stakeholders, International Medical Corps has designed a capacity building strategy to ensure program quality and sustainability. Our goal is to improve our partners’ capacity, providing them the tools and systems to take on large-scale funding opportunities on their own elsewhere in Turkey. The capacity building covers both technical and programmatic training and supervision.

Explore Turkey

Our impact and work

child waiting in Hungary

Refugees in transit through Turkey

Refugees in transit through Turkey

The coast of Turkey

Bodrum and Izmir have become hubs for refugees preparing to make the dangerous sea journey. We already provide support in Turkey and are preparing to work with local organisations to support the increasing numbers of refugees in transit.

Refugee response Ed Kashi

Refugee Response

Refugee Response

Refugee Response

Hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

Middle East support Tile

A sanctuary for refugees

A sanctuary for refugees

Gaziantep centre

In Gaziantep, Turkey, International Medical Corps runs a centre where Syrian refugees can get medical care, learn new skills or just socialise and release their frustration.


A Syrian in Turkey

A Syrian in Turkey

Hamida's Story

Hamida, a mother of six, arrived at our health centre in an International Medical Corps ambulance which carried her from the Syria-Turkey border after she was hit by shrapnel from a barrel bomb. 


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