As World Humanitarian Day falls this week, figures show Turkey has provided critical aid in over 40 countries across the world.
Turkey has carried out humanitarian work in over 40 countries across four continents, helping people reeling from the effects of natural disasters or civil wars, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has said.
The figures come in a week which marks World Humanitarian Day – the Aug. 19 anniversary of the death in 2003 of 22 aid workers murdered in a bombing at UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
Turkish volunteers are providing humanitarian assistance through charity organizations, in addition to state institutions, helping millions affected by conflicts and disasters.
AFAD, for instance, has established 25 temporary housing centers for Syrian people in Turkey, offering accommodation to thousands who fled their country after the onset of civil war.
The total amount of money spent supporting Syrian people since April 2011 has reached 5.6 billion Turkish liras ($1.9 billion).
Three other housing centers were established in northern Iraq, with a spend of 52.8 million Turkish liras.
AFAD has also sent humanitarian aid worth 456 million Turkish liras to Somalia, since 2011.
Following Nepal’s April 2015 earthquake, AFAD sent medical aid worth 814,000 Turkish liras.
Turkey ranked third in the list of countries with the most international humanitarian work in 2012 and 2013, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, TIKA, says in its Turkish Development Assistance 2013 report — the latest such figures from the agency.
According to another 2013 Global Humanitarian Assistance report, the top five donors were the U.S. with $3.8 billion, followed by EU institutions ($1.9 billion), the U.K. ($1.2 billion), Turkey ($1.0 billion) and Sweden with $784 million.
The GHA report in 2014 said: “Nine of the ten largest government donors in 2013 showed a rise in their giving from the previous year. The five largest in 2013 (U.S., U.K., Turkey, Japan and Germany) made some of the largest increases.”
The most generous country by gross national income (GNI) is Turkey with 0.21 per cent, the report wrote.
The top five recipients were Ethiopia, Afghanistan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Somalia and Pakistan, the report says.
Last year, the Turkish Red Crescent spent over 92 million Turkish liras to help over 810,000 people at home in Turkey and abroad who suffered from traffic accidents, industrial incidents and natural disasters.
Some Turkish NGOs are also actively taking part in humanitarian aid work across the world.
IHH, for example, is one of the biggest aid foundations in Turkey; it has around 100,000 volunteers of all ages.
The foundation provided humanitarian aid for around 1.5 million people both in Turkey and 96 other countries during Ramadan last year.
Among the countries that Turkish humanitarian organizations send aid to are: Bangladesh; Ethiopia; Pakistan; Somalia; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Yemen; Afghanistan; Palestine; Iraq and many others.
Tens of thousands of people from dozens of countries were treated with 90,000 medical examinations and 5,000 surgeries supplied by Doctors Worldwide in the last two years.
Turkey’s Cansuyu Foundation, meanwhile, provides humanitarian aid during Ramadan each year for 500,000 people in 30 countries. The foundation also established an orphanage in Gaza with the capacity to home up to 650 children in May 2015.
Turkey’s official development assistance has increased every year from $85 million in 2002 to $3.3 billion in 2013, TIKA has reported.
Of the total Turkish official development assistance in 2013, 49 percent was reported as humanitarian aid.
Resource: World Bulletin, August 20 ,2015