Humanitarian needs mount as Syrian refugee flock into Turkey

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Syrian refugees. UNHCR/A.McConnell

Humanitarian agencies along the Syrian Turkish border are preparing for a possible influx of up to 400,000 Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane who are fleeing an advance by fighters from the militant group Islamic State (ISIL).

United Nations Refugee agency UNHCR says more than 138,000 refugees mainly Kurds have crossed into southern Turkey since Friday.

The town of Kobane is reported to under siege from the militant group.

UNHCR says it will airlift aid for up to 200,000 people starting on Wednesday.

Melissa Fleming is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

“Once they are registered, they receive an ID card which provides them access to free health services and it is very critical showing that they have temporary protection of the Turkish government. Our staff are visiting the border areas and monitoring them and also areas where they are being hosted. We are assessing urgent needs and we are coordinating the response among all other humanitarian actors in the area. The majority of those arriving are women, children and the elderly. They are arriving terrified and exhausted. We have provided tens of thousands of relief items and the Turkish government is emphasizing that it does welcome international assistance and help in this very dramatic situation.”

Turkey is already host to over 1.3 million Syrian refugees.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Geneva.

Duration 1.32″

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