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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.


Janine Lietmeyer

Email: janine.lietmeyer(at)malteser-international.org

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