Sustainability and Crisis Response Capacity: Refugees and Health in Greece and Turkey

Friday, July 14, 2017
WMB - Hugh Fraser Seminar Room 2 (University of Glasgow)
Saime Ozcurumez , Bilkent University
A pressing challenge, which requires transformative thinking for sustainability of social cohesion and public health in the midst of mass human mobility as a consequence of a humanitarian crisis, is the protection and health of groups with specific needs among the refugees. This paper seeks answers to the question of “Where does the response lie to the challenge of the crisis?” and how does this impact sustainability in challenges of health care provision? By drawing on the literature on crisis response capacity, it examines the transformation in the nature of collaboration among different actors around the themes of protection and health of vulnerable groups at the local level in Greece and Turkey in the post April 2011 period. The paper aims to understand and explain the configuration of the interaction among IOs, NGOs, INGOs and the local government in these fields. It does so by tracing the patterns of collaboration and cooperation among different actors and by analyzing the impact of emerging interaction for sustainability.  The paper relies on data collected from the reports, media coverage and interviews with actors from an international NGO (Doctors Without Borders), an NGO in each country (Association for Asylum Seekers and Migrants in Turkey and Praksis in Greece), an IO (UNHCR), local voluntary actors and municipalities (Lesbos and Samos in Greece, Gaziantep and Adana in Turkey).  It discusses the challenges and implications for sustainability in responding to a trans-border international humanitarian crisis at the local level.