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CARE began responding to the needs of Syrian refugees in Türkiye in 2014.

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Relief Efforts in Türkiye

Türkiye hosts the highest number of refugees globally, reporting over 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees. Türkiye has been able to cope with hosting refugees better than Syria’s other neighboring countries, but refugee issues are increasingly politicized, creating significant protection risks. Social services are overstretched, and anti-migrant sentiments are on the rise, often erupting in clashes. Syrians struggle to meet basic needs and often turn to harmful coping mechanisms when all other options run out.

CARE prioritizes assistance for people with specific needs: women, youth, and people with disabilities. As the economic burden and length of displacement increase, many refugees turn to early marriage, child labor, and informal and unsafe employment. These practices, coupled with the lack of livelihoods and coping mechanisms perpetuate risk, particularly for women and girls. Language barriers and a lack of reliable information on and access to rights and assistance means that Syrian refugees face ever-present protection, abuse, and exploitation risks.

CARE has been operating in this region for decades but our work in Türkiye and Syria grew significantly over the last 10 years since the beginning of the modern Syria crisis.

Since 2014, CARE has focused on protection, basic needs, and economic empowerment for refugees, especially women and girls. CARE has developed working relationships with government authorities for operating permits and cooperates with municipalities at the local level. As of December 2020, more than 600,000 refugees and members of the host community have received lifesaving assistance in the following ways:

  • 239,557 refugees received greater access to critical information on legal and other forms of protection and rights, and services through outreach and community support structures.
  • 211,508 refugees received monthly, one-off and/or time-bound assistance to meet urgent needs.
  • 120,785 refugees worked with CARE’s shelter team to secure and upgrade dwellings.
  • 19,210 refugees became more self-reliant through improved access to essential basic services and reduced reliance on negative coping mechanisms through the provision of individualized protection support.
  • 6,522 refugees, especially women, have became more economically self-reliant through multiple CARE services that foster growing micro-enterprises including loans, developing personal agency, and life skills.