United Nations mission visits camps for Syrian people in Turkey
On 4–5 December 2012, a joint United Nations health mission to southern Turkey visited four camps for Syrian people hosted in Turkey as a consequence of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic. The mission was conducted by WHO and other agencies, with support from AFAD, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of the Prime Ministry of Turkey and the Turkish Ministry of Health.
In addition to WHO, other United Nations partners – the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – and representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were part of the mission to the four camps in the Gaziantep, Karamanmaras and Osmaniye provinces. The mission team was accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Health and the provincial health authorities and local government.
The United Nations agencies commended the Turkish Government’s extensive efforts to offer assistance to the Syrian population, and began to develop possible options for supporting the Government’s efforts through joint projects.
The Turkish Government currently hosts over 132 000 Syrian citizens who are seeking temporary refuge and being accommodated in 14 camps along the Turkish/Syrian border.
The Turkish authorities are providing a good level of services to their Syrian guests under temporary protection.
Those living in the camps, as well as the estimated additional 80 000 Syrians living with host families or on their own in Turkey, have the same free access to primary, secondary and tertiary health services and the same health entitlements as Turkish citizens. The emergency and curative services provided directly in the camps fully cater for all health issues, through health centres operating on a 24-hour, 7-day basis, as well as through field hospitals that are linked to referral hospitals at the district and provincial level. In addition, the Ministry of Health has developed public health programmes and preparations for the winter are progressing.
The Turkish Government plans to establish several new camp sites, as more Syrians are expected to seek shelter and protection in Turkey during the coming months, while the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic continues.
The mission will prepare a joint report and share recommendations with the Turkish authorities and the donor community.