World Bulletin/News Desk
Meera Sethi, Chief of Mission, IOM Turkey called upon the international community and donors to display more solidarity and support to respond to the human tragedy in Syria.
The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) held a ceremony on Wednesday for the 9 containers with dishwashing facilities, sponsored by the Japanese government in coordination with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), sent to the AFAD refugee camp in the Midyat town in the southern Turkish province of Mardin.
Among the attendees were AFAD President Fuat Oktay, Meera Sethi and the Minister Counselor of the Japanese Embassy Keisuke Yamanaka.
Speaking at the ceremony, Meera Sethi conveyed her gratitude, on behalf of the IOM to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent for "continuing to share the burden of responsibility in helping the people of Syria."
"IOM started to operate in Turkey in 1991 after the Gulf Crisis and since then it provides humanitarian assistance with the resettlement of refugees in coordination with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and national partners. Since the onset of the Syrian crisis for over two years, IOM as part of the UN Regional Response Plan and in response to the Turkish government's request of April 2012, has provided more than 50 thousand non-food items to Syrians in Karkamis and Ceylanpinar camps in coordination with Turkish Red Crescent," said Sethi.
Sethi described the contribution as a symbolic small gesture reiterating the commitment of the IOM in support of the huge efforts made by the Turkish government.
President of AFAD Fuat Oktay stated that so far 10 thousand containers and 30 thousand tents have been deployed for Syrian refugees. He also announced the number of Syrian refugees living in AFAD camps as 195 thousand, and around 300 thousand living off-camp.
Oktay noted that as AFAD they called the camps as "cities" as they aim to make the Syrians feel at home.
To address the serious problems in off-camp humanitarian aid and facilities, Oktay stressed that AFAD has launched a brand new accreditation system that registers Syrian refugees while cross-bordering into Turkey. The system, as Oktay expressed, enables to determine the needs of Syrian refugees in food, health, shelter, etc and eases the efforts to meet the needs and deliver the aid to those in need.
"International community and non-governmental organizations have been demanding for 2 years to enter the camps to determine the needs of Syrian refugees. However, we already know from our records what, when and how is needed. If we accept all of them in camps, it would mean a halt to the ongoing efforts and distract our attention from providing aid to the refugees. If they want to help us, we welcome all kind of humanitarian aid and financial support," said Oktay.
Highlighting the lack of required support and humanitarian aid to Syrians, Oktay also urged international donors and the actors within the UN to be more active in providing humanitarian aid and to financially support the countries sheltering Syrian refugees.
After the ceremony, AFAD President Oktay, Sethi and the Japan Minister Counselor Yamanaka observed the containers.Last Mod: 29 Mayıs 2013, 15:07