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More than five years on from the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, the country’s infrastructure has been devastated and millions of people have been forced to flee their homes – leading to the world’s largest refugee crisis. Since 2011, Turkey has officially accepted more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees from its neighbor, but the actual number, including refugees who are not registered, is probably far higher. Only 256,300 of these refugees live in one of the 24 camps run by AFAD – Turkey’s civil defense organization. Most of them, rather, live in urban spaces, above all the south eastern cities of the country near to the border. Those who still have financial means can rent houses, but many are forced to live in inhuman conditions, or even in open spaces on the street. The high number of refugees is an enormous challenge to Turkey’s infrastructure, but no end seems to be in sight to the conflict in Syria, and they are set to remain in the country for the foreseeable future.

Working in close collaboration with a local partner, Malteser International began to provide humanitarian aid in the Turkish border city of Kilis, and across into Syria itself, in the summer of 2012. The focus of our work is the medical and psychosocial care of refugees.

Malteser International Locations: Kilis

Our work in pictures

#WomenHumanitarians: ''Humanitarian Work is the best thing I am doing with my life''

World Humanitarian Day is celebrated every year on August 19 to recognize the work of humanitarian aid workers and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty. World Humanitarian Day 2019 celebrates women humanitarians. In this interview, Syrian psychologist Betoul Abras tells about her experience. She works with Malteser International in Turkey, helping Syrian refugees to overcome the trauma of war and conflict.

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Betoul: Syrian refugee helping fellow citizens in Turkey

Betoul, herself a Syrian refugee in Turkey, is helping other refugees from the ongoing conflict in her homeland to deal with their often-traumatic experiences. She works with Malteser International to prepare projects in psycho-social support and trains partner organizations of Malteser International on psychologically related healthcare topics.

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Theresa Tesan
Email: theresa.tesan(at)malteser-international.org

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