During 2012, due to the escalating nature of the crisis in Syria, the scale and breadth of the humanitarian needs of those seeking asylum in Turkey, rose significantly. In January of 2012, there were 9,500 Syrians seeking refuge in camps inside Turkey which has grown to 221,829 by the 18th March 2014, meaning more than a 20 fold increase over the period. Subsequently the number and size of camps has expanded dramatically over the period, with 22 camps operational in March 2014.
Throughout 2012, the Government of Turkey provided for all of the basic needs of those in the camps including water and sanitation, health facilities, education, food and NFIs, to an excellent standard. However the exponential growth in the number of Syrians seeking protection in Turkey over 2012 meant that the Government of Turkey was no longer able to sustain its level of response, and subsequently requested the assistance of the United Nations (UN). This resulted in the Government’s involvement in the development of Regional Response Plans (RRP) in the later part of 2012, with the most recent RRP 6 launched in December 2013.
In addition to Syrians living in camps inside Turkey, it is estimated that there are currently 421,038 Syrians living outside of the camps, concentrated in the border provinces of Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Mardin and Sanliurfa. This number has increased from the estimated 70,000 given by the Government of Turkey in December 2012, all of whom also benefit from the temporary protection regime. The Government of Turkey estimates that in total there are approximately 800,000 Syrian citizens living under the temporary protection regime in Turkey, both in camps and living in host communities.
Currently there are 642,867 Syrians refugees registered in Turkey with 34% living in camps and 66% in host communities, and of these, 53% are children (341,362). It is also estimated that there are an additional 150,000 Syrians living in Turkey whom are not registered, with the Government of Turkey (GoT) estimating that by December 2014 there will be 1,000,000 Syrians living in Turkey.
Since the beginning of the crisis the response from the GoT has been of a consistently high standard with new arrivals being provided with food, shelter and medical assistance without interruption, with total GoT spending nearing USD$1.5 billion. However due to the ever increasing numbers of Syrians entering Turkey, the GoT has asked for increased support from the international community, particularly in the areas of education and support services for children.
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