As the situation on the Turkey/EU border enters its second week IOM, with its partners, continues to provide humanitarian aid to the thousands of vulnerable migrants who have been sleeping in rough conditions, without proper access to food, shelter or sanitary facilities.
Since Friday 28th February migrants have been moving towards the Turkey EU/border in the province of Edirne. Many remain there, after walking long distances carrying their belongings, children, and babies on their backs.
IOM Turkey has committed over USD 100,000 on food, clothing and hygienic items and other items with funds donated by the US Government. Teams on the ground have been actively distributing food and relief items on the border for days and are now significantly picking up operations. Additional staff have been deployed to border areas. Aid was distributed today at Pazarkule crossing point with more distributions planned tonight at two other points along the border.
IOM response teams are also present along the Aegean coast providing assistance to vulnerable migrants, however activities in the Aegean have been very minimal as weather conditions have largely prevented migrants from trying to cross.
In less than a week, IOM distributed over 8,000 relief items – food kits, blankets, jackets, shoes, among other necessities to migrants in need in Edirne and along the coast. About 20,000 relief items are on the way from the IOM warehouse in Turkey and from vendors in Istanbul to be distributed over the course of this weekend.
In the midst of a fluid and changing situation on the ground, it is proving difficult to estimate the numbers of migrants on the move. People have managed to come and go from border areas with food items, but sanitation and health conditions of migrants remain a concern, posing health risks for migrants and their families, especially the many young children. Some may wish to return to provinces they travelled from and require transportation assistance.
“We are grateful to our donor the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration for their swift support, said “IOM Turkey’s Chief of Mission Lado Gvilava.
“ Additional funding will allow us to reach a great number of those in need.”