Migrants Day: Turkey hosts largest number of refugees in the world
Sevil Erkuş – ANKARA
Ankara says it has spent around $35 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011 while hosting some 3.5 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.
As of Dec. 18 International Migrants Day, Turkey has been hosting 3,611,834 registered Syrians, according to figures provided by the Interior Ministry on Dec. 6. Some 47.5 percent of them are between the ages of 0 and 18, according to the ministry.
As of Dec. 6, the number of Syrians sheltering in camps was registered as 144,036, according to the figures of the Migration Administration.
The annual cost of hosting a Syrian refugee in Turkey is 3,000 euros, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a briefing note provided to lawmakers on Dec. 13 for budget discussions in parliament.
While the average cost of hosting a single refugee is nearly 12,000 euros in European countries, this figure is only 3,000 euros in Turkey, the minister said when asked about the details of the $35 billion spent on refugees in Turkey.
Turkey provides free education and health services to Syrians in Turkey, said the minister, noting that 650,000 out of 1 million Syrian children are able to get education in schools.
The health cost of an individual Syrian is $1,000, he said.
More than 34 million applications were filed at outpatient clinics by Syrians, 1.5 million Syrians received inpatient treatment, and more than one million surgeries were carried out, according to the minister.
According to the United Nations’ secretary-general, the biggest human migration since the Second World War is taking place today.
“This month, the world took a landmark step forward with the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a message.
“Backed with overwhelming support by the membership of the United Nations, the Compact will help us to address the real challenges of migration while reaping its many benefits,” he said.