Syrian Refugee Crisis: Role of Turkish Non-Governmental Organizations in Humanitarian Relief
11 Pages Posted: 24 May 2017 Last revised: 27 May 2017
Date Written: May 22, 2017
The Syrian civil war is one of the on-going catastrophic events in which international community deals with turbulent impacts in the region and beyond. This intra-state conflict leashes out to a full-fledged war influenced by state and non-state actors, both are equally contributing to make it vulnerable to the extend of “the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of the cold war”. Within a span of four years since the beginning of civil war, international community have seen a huge influx of refugees from Syria to neighboring countries in search of safety and security as remarked by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, as “the world’s worst refugee crisis in a generation”. The conflict has now driven more than four million people from Syria with at least 7.6 million people forced from their homes within Syria, almost half of the population are either refugees or internally displaced. The civilian causality increasing by time more than 4,00,000 people.
The response of international community towards the Syrian exodus can be analyzed with contrary interests and capabilities, generally failing to meet the tremendous needs of these individuals. This paper discusses about the role of Turkish Non-Governmental Organizations in humanitarian relief- internal and external spheres of the country- and its significant contributions and limitations. Turkey is now the largest refugee hosting country in the world, sheltering more than 1.8 million Syrians. The government has spent over $4 billion on the refugees and providing camps and free health care facilities. Turkey maintains an open door policy for refugees and it has accorded temporary protection to Syrians on their territory, which precludes repatriation, however legally they are not refugees in Turkey, but ‘guests’. The major NGOs working among refugees are IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Rizk, Turk Kizilayi, Caritas Turkey and Deniz Feneri, who are maintaining a large number of tent camps, orphanages, guest houses and container camps with the warm support of international humanitarian organizations such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Turkish Red Crescent and Amnesty International. The paper would analyze various kinds of activities and machinaries of these NGOs in facilitating humanitarian assistance and relief to the Syrian refugees living in Turkey and towards the internally displaced people in Syria.
Keywords: Refugee, Migration, Non-Governmental Organizations, Humanitarian Relief, Humanitarian Crisis, Syria, Turkey
JEL Classification: F50, F51, L31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation