World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey was named the fourth-largest humanitarian aid donor in 2012, according to the “Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2013,” an annual publication from Development Initiatives on global trends in humanitarian financing.
The report stated that the United States was ranked first with the largest amount of humanitarian aid last year, at $3.8 billion, followed by the European Union with $1.9 billion and the UK with $1.2 billion. The report said Turkey contributed more than $1 billion of humanitarian assistance in 2012, a year in which aid from most donor countries fell.
The amount constitutes 0.13 percent of Turkey's national income. The report noted that most of the aid Turkey provided likely went to its surrounding region as the prolonged Syrian crisis has led to a hike in the number of refugees fleeing the war-torn country.
Ankara faces tough challenges as the humanitarian situation on the ground in Syria worsens, given the fact that more and more people are seeking shelter in southern Turkey, pushing the country's capacity to the limit.
There are currently over 200,000 Syrians in Turkey who have fled the two-year-old conflict in their country, which according to the UN has killed more than 70,000 people. According to figures from the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) released on June 25, the total number of refugee camps in Turkey is 15: five in Hatay, two in Şanlıurfa, three in Gaziantep and one each in Kahramanmaraş, Osmaniye, Adıyaman, Mardin and Adana along with five container cities -- two in Kilis and one each in Şanlıurfa, Malatya and Gaziantep.
The refugees are being provided with food and healthcare services as well as educational opportunities for children and adults, religious services, communication and banking services at the camps. The total number of Syrians who have entered Turkey since the start of the uprising is over 332,830 while a total of 132,818 Syrian citizens have returned to their country, according to the AFAD statement. Other than Turkey, there are also significant numbers of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. UN authorities estimate the number of refugees in each host country could hit 1 million in the near future.
The Global Humanitarian Assistance report also indicated that more than 93 million people around the world were in need of humanitarian aid in 2012. A total of $17.9 billion in aid was given to people in need across the world last year, 70 percent of which came from governments.
Turkey was also ranked among the top five in the list of top 10 new donors in terms of humanitarian aid reported to the United Nations between 2006 and 2010.Last Mod: 19 Temmuz 2013, 10:04