How does the voucher card project for hygiene needs we implemented in Hatay work? Aya, Rana, Ali and Omar living in temporary shelters tell their experience.

In Hatay, one of the provinces most affected by the February 6 earthquakes, access to clean water and hygiene supplies remains limited, especially for those living in informal shelters. The lack of access to hygiene brings with it the risk of epidemics, particularly scabies cases in shelters.

As part of our humanitarian aid efforts prioritizing the most vulnerable groups in the regions most affected by the earthquake, we are carrying out a project in partnership with World Vision Syria Response to respond to these needs in Hatay and Adıyaman. In the project, we are implementing a voucher card system that enables people affected by the disaster to purchase hygiene supplies in line with their own needs by reducing their dependency on distribution materials.

In the Hatay phase of the project, we conducted a needs assessment by interviewing approximately 1,400 families in informal shelters in Antakya, Narlıca and Reyhanlı and in the container city in İskenderun where refugees are staying.

We distributed voucher cards to 800 families that we identified as the most vulnerable. Families will be able to use these cards to meet their hygiene needs from our contracted markets for 4 months.

With this project, we support disaster-affected people who cannot access hygiene items due to financial constraints, while at the same time contributing to the local economy by working with small businesses.

We interviewed beneficiares who benefited from our service in a temporary shelter of 100 tents, where we had previously set up water tanks, showers and toilets and now we have started to implement our card project. In our interviews, we observe that the project is especially useful in meeting the need for baby diapers.

Aya, who came to Türkiye from Syria in 2013 and has 5 children, explains as follows: "My husband does not work. My two children use diapers. My 12-year-old has a kidney problem, and he also uses diapers from time to time. I used most of the cash support to buy diapers. Hygiene items were also an important need for my sick child."

Rana is also a woman with 5 children: "I bought mostly diapers with this card, because both of my children use diapers. We need a lot of hygiene supplies here, this support is very valuable for us."

Ali, who lives with his 10 children in this temporary shelter, has a disability report. The family does not have a regular income; "Everything is very expensive. With this support, we bought diapers for the children, cleaning supplies, so we can allocate money for other needs."

Omar, who came to Türkiye 12 years ago and has 3 children, shares the problems they face in their area: "Support to Life previously installed showers, toilets and water tanks here. When it rained, water would fill the tents. They put pallets under all the tents. There are scabies and other epidemics in this tent area we are in. Therefore, hygiene supplies were a very urgent need for us".

There is a long way to go to rebuild life in Hatay. We will continue to work to ensure that people who will have to spend several more seasons in temporary shelters have access to basic needs, especially hygiene.

*The names of the beneficiares have been changed to protect their personal rights.

Writer: Özgür Doğan
Field Communications Officer / Hatay

Editor: Gözde Kazaz
Communications Expert / İstanbul


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