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“Guests and Aliens”: Re-Configuring New Mobilities in the Eastern Mediterranean After 2011 - with a special focus on Syrian refugees

Civil Society Programme

Support to Life / Hayata Destek

Sema Genel

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1Support to Life (STL), founded in 2005, is an independent humanitarian agency working in the field of disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and emergency response by promoting community participation in Turkey and the surrounding region. In its project work, STL abides by the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independency and accountability.


Food Security

2As the number of refugees in Turkey increased and vulnerabilities became more visible, access to basic goods and services has become harder every day for the Syrian refugees settling outside the camps. Since 2012, STL has been working to meet the basic needs of the non-camp Syrian refugees who are unable or unwilling to settle in refugee camps in Hatay, Kilis and Şanlıurfa through a cash-based assistance program. While empowering the refugees, this approach supports the local economy where Syrian refugees live. By the end of 2014, STL had reaches out to 4,769 households on a monthly basis with cash assistance, which represented 25,931 individuals.


3STL is also carrying out a protection program through community centers in the Turkey-Syria border areas. As of April 2013, STL has been running two community centers in Hatay and Şanlıurfa. These centers provide community based psychosocial support services and skills development trainings, aiming at personal development, intercultural dialogue, and enhancement of communal and social skills. STL is now preparing to launch a community-based psychosocial program for Syrian refugees in Istanbul. By the end of 2014, a total of 4,871 refugees had attended the programs in STL’s community centres.

Emergency Aid

4Due to the attacks on Sinjar in Iraq and on Kobane in Syria, Turkey received a massive refugee influx during the summer of 2014. STL launched an emergency relief aid program for Kobane and Ezidi refugees in September 2014. Emergency operations took place in Suruç district of Şanlıurfa and in the city of Batman in Southeastern Turkey.

5The main activities are in-kind distribution of food packages, hygiene items, and households support kits comprising of kitchen utensils, blankets, stoves, tarpaulins and winter clothing sets. In order to prepare the tents for winter conditions and to protect them from fire, insulation material and pallets have been provided. To promote hygiene, water distribution points, water tanks, latrines, shower units, and laundry areas have been constructed in refugee camps.


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