CARE is deeply concerned about the influx of around 66,000 refugees who have crossed the border to Turkey in the past days.
‘This is a major humanitarian emergency, with tens of thousands of people in need of shelter, food and water,’ says John Uniack Davis, Country Director of CARE Turkey.
With the giant influx of the past few days, CARE is currently assessing needs and coordinating with the Turkish authorities and other organisations to support the newly arrived refugees with food, safe drinking water and hygiene items.
‘Along the border, we saw thousands of refugees, mostly women and children, who were carrying the few belongings they were able to take with them. Many of them had spent nights outside and had been walking for hours. They are exhausted and now worry, as they have absolutely nowhere to go,’ says Davis, who is part of CARE’s initial assessment team.
The more than 60,000 refugees that have crossed from Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) in the past days join around 850,000 registered Syrian refugees who have sought safety in Turkey since the beginning of the Syria Crisis.
‘The Turkish government has done a herculean job meeting the needs of refugees, but more support is needed from the international community in order to keep up with the ever-increasing burden,’ says Davis.
In total, more than four million civilians have fled the fighting in Syria and are in need of urgent assistance and protection. As the violence continues many more may seek refuge in neighbouring countries such as Turkey, adding to the pressure of the regional Syrian refugee crisis which is already stretching humanitarian resources. CARE has been supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria since the beginning of the crisis and is now planning to respond to the current refugee influx in Turkey.
‘The international community must rise to the occasion and support Turkey in meeting the enormous need engendered by the Kobane crisis in particular and the long Syrian crisis in general,’ says Davis.