INARA expands operations to help injured refugee children in Turkey


INARA has expanded its operations into Turkey – to reach and treat war wounded refugee children in need of life-altering medical treatment.

The need in Turkey

According to official numbers, 3.6 million Syrian refugees live in Turkey – half of which are children. While the Turkish government does provide healthcare to refugees living in Turkey, large gaps in provision remain, as Turkey has struggled with the financial burden of providing for its refugee population.

A needs assessment was developed to identify gaps in medical provision that INARA’s programs can fill with its expansion into Turkey. The results showed that:

  • There is a need for plastic and reconstructive surgeries and artificial limbs.
  • Refugees face challenges accessing healthcare services – particularly around high costs of transportation and medicines.
  • There are significant language barriers that refugees face when accessing medical care in Turkey.

Our criteria

Based on the findings of the needs assessment, INARA has established its criteria and remit of work in Turkey. The organization will be providing life-altering medical care and reconstructive surgery to refugee children in Turkey who have catastrophic injuries or illnesses and are unable to access or afford treatment due to war.

INARA will also be supporting refugee children and their families by paying for transportation and medicines; and also providing translation services at medical appointments.

Speaking about INARA’s expansion into Turkey, our founder Arwa Damon said: “Opening in Turkey means that even more children can get access to the life-altering medical treatment that we provide. The impact of our treatment stretches far beyond the children we work with; as a result of our treatment, families are no longer burdened by looking after injured children and so can go out and become active contributors to their communities. Not only that, but we help to break the cycle of disability that can often cost host communities vital funding and resources. I look forward to seeing the impacts of INARA’s hard work on the ground in Turkey.”

Where we will be working

INARA’s operations are based out of Gaziantep, Turkey. Gaziantep is the fourth largest province in Turkey in terms of refugee population, with 428,779 refugees registered there. Gaziantep was selected as it is considered a hub for organizations and potential partners (both local and international) in Turkey. It is strategically located close to the Syrian border and is surrounded by cities that are heavily populated with refugees.

INARA has successfully partnered with the MMT American Hospital in Gaziantep. This hospital will provide 25% to 30% discounts for all treatment procedures. INARA is also in the process of looking at other hospitals in and around Gaziantep that they can partner with, as per the recommendations from their needs assessment.

Our response to COVID-19 in Turkey

We are proceeding with treatment for ongoing cases at the point of writing (April 6, 2020), upon the advice of our doctors at the MMT American Hospital. All new cases have been paused. This is subject to change.

We recently launched a COVID-19 response plan in Turkey and Lebanon. We are trying to raise over $100,000 so we can provide over 1,250 Syrian refugee families who have lost their source of income, with vital food and hygiene kits so they can protect themselves from the coronavirus. You can read all about this campaign here. Every dollar donated will be doubled.