Caritas is launching a programme in the New Year to help Syrian refugees who have fled over the border to Turkey.

Official figures show there are over 120,000 Syrians in refugee camps in south and southeastern Turkey, but tens of thousands more have not been registered yet. Camps are filled to capacity and the number of people living outside them is increasing. Thousands of people are waiting every day to cross over the border from Syria.

“People need humanitarian support and solidarity. They need medicine, they need blankets, they need food, and mostly they need support of people who care them,” said Rinaldo Marmara, director of Caritas Turkey.

“Caritas Turkey has worked for refugees since 1991 and we have witnessed how difficult it is to be in a different country without work, without knowing the language, or without having basic resources. Day by day the number of Syrians coming to our office is increasing and we work to respond them all in solidarity and to provide support to each individual refugee,” he said.

Caritas is appealing for €1.406.801 (US$1.9 million) for a 12-month programme that will start on 1st January 2013. Its work will be focused on the border area districts of Kilis and Reyhanlı in Hatay province.

The main focus of Caritas’ work will be to provide 2000 families with food and hygiene items, but to also help them get through the winter by providing things such as blankets and heaters.

Other services that will be provided by Caritas in Turkey will include medical assistance, counseling and information provision which will help Syrians make informed decisions.

Many refugees fled Syria thinking that the conflict would last just a few months. This means they brought few belongings and are totally unprepared for winter. Their precarious situation is made worse by the fact that they still have no idea of when they’ll be able to go home.

Please contact Michelle Hough onContact:+39 06 6987 9752/+39 334 234 4136 for further information.