Protection for Peace: Meeting Refugees’ Urgent Needs
From November 2020 to January 2021, HasNa teamed up with the Mardin Community Participation and Development Association to meet the urgent needs of refugee and host families struggling to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic in Turkey’s Mardin Province.
HasNa’s recent report on Turkish Civil Society’s Response to Refugees during COVID-19 found that the pandemic exerted a disproportionately negative effect on refugees. Already working in precarious situations before the pandemic, many refugee workers lost their sources of income, resulting in increased fears and anxieties. Similarly, local host communities have also seen a decrease in employment rates as lockdowns and restrictions on movement constrict the job market, and in turn, families’ abilities to afford housing, food, and other necessary goods and services. The public health crisis is also coupled with a troubling rise in anti-refugee hate speech within the media and an increase in anti-Syrian sentiment throughout the country. While social cohesion programs that bring refugee and host communities together have taken on a more prominent role in recent times, the pandemic has put an indefinite freeze on many of these gatherings due to the need for social distance.
Thanks to your support, we were able to reach 103 families, facilitating their access to invaluable aid, know-how, and resources that not only work to assuage very real economic anxieties but also to protect vulnerable families and communities from the spread of COVID-19.