Turkey - IOM has delivered winter relief items to over 3,160 Syrian refugee families in Kirikhan in Turkey’s Hatay province since Christmas to help them to cope with freezing weather and harsh living conditions.
The families, totaling over 16,370 people, have received over 4,600 blankets, 4,800 pillows, 3,450 mattresses and nearly 1,100 carpets. A total of 10,000 blankets, 10,000 pillows, 5,000 beds and 2,500 carpets will be distributed by IOM and its partners in the coming days.
IOM has also provided some 140 families with stoves and 600 families with coal in Hatay and Reyanli. It is also helping vulnerable families in Kirikhan, Antakya and Reyanli with cash assistance through vouchers that enable them to buy food and hygiene items. There are few jobs in the area and for many the vouchers are an essential form of subsistence.
The project, which is funded by the European Commission (ECHO), is primarily targeting Syrians living in Hatay’s Kirikhan area, which borders Syria. An estimated 25,000 Syrian refugees live in Kirikhan, most of them in appalling conditions.
Many are living in abandoned homes, unfinished construction sites and farm buildings. Some are in tents and makeshift shelters. Those that are able to rent homes can usually only afford the worst, damp buildings, badly in need of repairs.
Ali Ahmad (name changed), a father of four, fled to Kirikhan from Aleppo a year ago with his wife, following the destruction of his home and small shop. He rented a small, unheated house in Kirikhan where IOM was able to reach him through the local muhtar and provide him with four mattresses, five blankets, five pillows and a carpet.
For the distributions of winter items, IOM works closely with local authorities.
Separately, IOM is continuing to work with the Government of Turkey on other projects. In Adiyaman camp, where some 10,000 Syrians are living, IOM is working with AFAD (the Prime Minister’s Office Disaster Management Authority) to provide free transportation for health referrals and market visits for camp residents. IOM has expanded this service to help children going to schools outside camps in Urfa province. Without free transport they would be unable to attend.
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