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Protection and Self-Reliance

Protection and Self-Reliance

Enabling dignity in urban displacement

Refugees are among the most vulnerable civilians in the Middle East. Many have fled overcrowded camps for urban centers in the hopes of earning a better life for their loved ones. Yet, too often they lack the training, civil documentation, and support needed to access decent work, housing, and public services. It can be a daily struggle to avoid housing eviction and hunger. In these situations, children are at greater risk of early marriage, child labor, and years of missed schooling. Sexual and gender-based violence and workplace exploitation continue to affect the least protected.

The eligibility criteria and application periods for temporary protection IDs in Turkey and birth registration in Lebanon have changed over time. Without these documents, Syrian refugees have difficulty accessing education, health care, and work. Other sought-after documents include: marriage certificates, residency permits, degree equivalency, and work permits.

In parts of Syria, children are poorly protected from aerial bombardment and shelling. Many have witnessed their parents and friends become casualties of the war. Such trauma is more than a child should ever have to endure. The recent surge in displacement in Northwest Syria and the threat of COVID-19 has resulted in further isolation. Many aid actors have had to suspend psychosocial support programs that provide tremendous emotional support to the young.

RPI and its local implementing partners work to meet these needs by:

  • Providing Syrian refugees in Turkey with guidance on documentation procedures and referrals to service providers to legitimize and support their stay
  • Providing individual case management to the most vulnerable refugees: interpretation/translation, accompaniment to service providers, and support with completing application forms
  • Counseling and financially aiding Syrian refugees in Lebanon to complete birth registration
  • Providing displaced Syrian children with psychosocial support and individual mental health sessions or referrals to psychologists in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria
  • Supporting the income-generation capacity of female-headed refugee households and victims of violence
  • Providing transitional housing, protection, and other social support to vulnerable refugee women and children
  • Providing psychosocial support to refugee women and civilians affected by the Beirut explosion in August 2020
  • Encouraging collaboration among our local partners and other nonprofit, private sector, and municipal stakeholders
  • Planning for post-conflict information and counseling on housing, land, and property restitution and reparation

  • Counseling and Case Management

    6,785 Syrians in Turkey received consultations on how to access documentation (temporary protection; work permits through employers) and job-seeking, medical, legal, relief, and educational services. 220 Syrian refugees in Lebanon were supported with birth registration.


  • Supporting Mental Health

    Over 1,021 refugees, IDPs, and locals have participated in psychosocial support or individual mental health programming in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.


  • Strengthening Livelihoods that Give Back

    8,949 displaced Syrians in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria received goods or services as a result of vocational/livelihoods skills training, materials, and distribution support provided to 434 refugees and IDPs in teaching, first aid, nursing, psychosocial support, soap/toy/packaging production, sewing, and the use of eco-friendly heating/cooking fuel. In addition, 3,050 refugees received intensive language training in host countries and 647 children in Syria received winter clothing.




RPI’s partner Basmeh and Zeitooneh assisting Syrian refugees with documentation needs in Sanliurfa, Turkey.

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