UNHCR enhances its outreach to asylum-seekers and refugees through the ‘Help’ website

In Turkey, the largest host country of refugees worldwide, there are over 3 million registered Syrian refugees in addition to over 300,000 asylum-seekers and refugees of other nationalities registered with UNHCR. Given the fact that the vast majority, including over 90% of the Syrian refugees, are living in urban areas in all 81 provinces of Turkey, the newly-launched Help website will contribute to strengthening UNHCR’s outreach to this population.

Help launched today and accessible at http://help.unhcr.org/turkey will serve as UNHCR’s online interface for information intended for asylum-seekers and refugees in Turkey. Available in Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and English, Help enables asylum-seekers and refugees in Turkey to easily access narrative information about their rights and obligations, as well as the services available to them. It achieves this by offering a mobile-friendly website designed specifically for them in terms of content and technical functionality.

UNHCR’s Representative a.i. Paolo Artini said: “The primary actors in helping refugees are refugees themselves. Through this new website, UNHCR will increase its outreach and communication with refugees. The site will provide them with a portal for up-to-date information relevant to them, their families and their communities, and help them to share the information in a timely and accessible way.”

Help will enable both the Syrian and non-Syrian population to reach information across a range of themes asked most by asylum-seekers and refugees, from registration and refugee status determination procedures to education and livelihoods. It will act as a complementary platform to those already in use in UNHCR’s operation in Turkey: the UNHCR Turkey website, which provides general information and news about UNHCR’s mandate and activities in Turkey; and the ‘Results’ website, which enables asylum-seekers and refugees who have individual cases with UNHCR to keep up to date with their cases. With the launch of Help in Turkey, UNHCR has joined UNHCR’s ‘Help’ network of websites across the globe.

Serving to provide clear and consistent messages to refugee communities, Help strengthens UNHCR’s outreach and responsibility towards them. UNHCR has been consolidating its community-based protection approach through enhancing its two-way communication with refugee communities and empowering them with information relevant to their lives. This has been implemented through a variety of tools, including refugee outreach volunteers (ROVs), group information sessions, individual counselling (both in-person and over the telephone), printed materials such as leaflets and posters, SMSs, and the presence of UNHCR and its partners at community centres and offices throughout the country. UNHCR is also engaging with authorities and service providers to facilitate access to services and support.