Turkey experiences major refugee influx

Briefing Notes, 11 February 2014

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 11 February 2014, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

More than 20,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Turkey since the start of the year in the biggest influx since early 2013. Over recent days more than 500 persons have been arriving daily across official crossing points, sometimes as many as 1,000-2,000 daily.

This new influx appears to be spurred in part by the upsurge in fighting reported across the border in northern Syria, particularly in and around Aleppo, and the conflict among opposition groups, as well.

About one-third of the recent influx, some 7,000 persons, is accommodated in camps. Turkey opened its 22nd camp in early January and authorities are considering opening further new camps to help cope with the new influx.

The influx of more than 20,000 since the first of January adds to the already existing pressure on Turkey's emergency refugee response. UNHCR is discussing with the authorities additional emergency support to help Turkey to cope with this recent influx.

Additional Syrian refugees are awaiting registration in urban areas in Turkey; many of them are believed to be in vulnerable condition and in need of urgent assistance. UNHCR is supporting the government of Turkey including through support to registration, technical assistance, distribution of core relief items to people in camps as well as the most vulnerable outside of camps and cash assistance to the most vulnerable. UNHCR maintains emergency stocks inside and outside Turkey that can be used to supplement governmental aid supplies as needed.

UNHCR continues to appeal to all states in the Syria region to keep their frontiers open to refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.

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