Syria Crisis and Resilience Response
Turkey currently hosts the highest number of refugees in the world, including over 2.8 million registered Syrians. Around 90 per cent of the Syrian refugees live outside formal camps, within Turkish host communities. This has significantly affected the national and local labour markets, created additional demands on municipal service providers and increased risk of tensions within communities. Syrian refugees are mainly located in the Southeast Anatolia region bordering Syria, but as the crisis has continued, the population has expanded to other regions as well. Turkey has provided exemplary support to Syrian refugees, amongst others, by providing them with “temporary protection” status, which, with the adoption of relevant legislation, affords them access to basic services and the right to work.
The objective of UNDP Turkey’s support in response to the refugee crisis is to strengthen the resilience of refugees, host community members, local municipalities and relevant national institutions to cope with and recover from the impact of the large influx of Syrian refugees. The key aspect of UNDP’s resilience response strategy is to invest in existing national and local systems to ensure they can adequately serve both host and refugee communities. Specifically, the programme focusses on three major areas:
- Livelihoods, Employment and Local Economic Development: a) Improving livelihoods opportunities through addressing issues on both the labour market supply and demand side; and b) strengthening the capacities of local service providers and relevant stakeholders in the areas of employment and economic development;
- Basic Needs and Essential Services: Support to municipalities for efficient and quality urban waste management for affected communities as well as municipal services;
- Social Cohesion, Empowerment and Protection: a) Support to enhance social cohesion amongst refugees and members of host communities; b) social and economic empowerment of women and other vulnerable groups; c) protection of Syrian refugees with supporting access to legal aid and justice, including refugees affected by sexual and gender based violence (SGBV);
UNDP Turkey’s response is in line with the Regional Refugee Response Plan (3RP) to the Syria crisis. UNDP Turkey coordinates at the regional level with other countries hosting Syrian refugees such as Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt, in cooperation with UNHCR and other partners. UNDP promotes a resilience based development approach, to help individuals, communities and institutions to cope with and recover from the impact of the large influx of the refugees and to protect their development gains. UNDP leads and coordinates the resilience pillar under the 3RP in Turkey as well as the overall regional resilience response to the Syria crisis.