Turkey spends $30 billion on Syrian refugees: FM
ANTALYA – Anadolu Agency
Turkey will remain at the forefront in dealing with humanitarian crises, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said on Nov. 5, adding that the country has spent $30 billion on the refugee crisis in Syria since 2011.
“In recent years, we have increased the amount and variety of our assistance,” Çavuşoğlu told a gala dinner organized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Mediterranean resort city Antalya.
He said that Turkey hosts more than 3.2 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.
He said that despite all claims, the international community did not help Turkey in dealing with the crisis, and Turkey has spent $30 billion on the refugees since the civil war in Syria broke out in 2011.
He added that Turkey was taking special care to ensure access to education for the Syrian refugees.
“There are 976,000 Syrian children of school-going-age living in Turkey. 620,000 of them have been able to continue their education. We are doing our best to increase this number,” he said.
Kerem Kınık, head of the Turkish Red Crescent Society, said that media reports of human tragedies received a halfhearted response from the international community.
“We witness human tragedies and stories about people leaving behind their home, work, land. We watch stories of children who have to leave their friends, toys, families and schools. We see how babies are washed up dead on beaches. Yet sadly enough, the amount of media coverage of humanitarian crises and the amount of humanitarian action vis-à-vis these crises do not often overlap.
“There is still a paradoxical gap between the recognition of crises and finding appropriate solutions for them,” he said.
During the event, a short film about the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was shown to the audience.
Also, a dance troupe performed a traditional Turkish dance.
Around 1,500 guests from Turkish and international aid organizations are attending the IFRC General Meeting from Nov. 5-11.
The assembly will select a new IFRC president as well as vice presidents and board members for the next four years.
The Turkish Red Crescent head Kınık is a vice president candidate for the Europe region.