Turkey becomes 4th largest donor of international assistance

Turkey becomes 4th largest donor of international assistance

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey becomes 4th largest donor of international assistance

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became the first non-African leader to visit Somalia in over 20 years, after the country received $77.7 million in aid from Turkey. DHA photo, Ümit KOZAN

Turkey has become the fourth largest government donor of humanitarian assistance across the world in 2012, contributing over $1 billion, which is 0.13 percent of its national wealth, according to a recent survey.

Official development assistance (ODA) from Turkey has grown substantially in recent years, almost doubling between 2011 and 2012, said The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report 2013, conducted by an international organization named Development Initiatives.

Turkey’s humanitarian assistance increased to $1 billion in 2012, making up over 40 percent of total official development assistance across the world and ranking it the 4th largest donor that year, according to the report.

A large proportion of humanitarian assistance from Turkey in 2012 has gone to the surrounding region, especially due to the escalating Syrian crisis, the report highlighted, also adding that a significant volume of this support was spent on housing for Syrian refugees.

“By June 10, 2013, fewer than 350,000 Syrian refugees were registered in Turkey, and the figure is rising,” the report recalled.

Turkey’s humanitarian assistance has concentrated on a small number of recipients in recent years, with Pakistan, Somalia and Iraq making up 67 percent between 2007 and 2011.

In 2011, Somalia was the largest recipient of Turkey’s humanitarian assistance receiving $77.7 million, said report recalling that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became the first non-African leader to visit Somalia in over 20 years.

The U.S. remained the largest donor of humanitarian assistance by volume, providing $3.8 billion in 2012, 29 percent of all humanitarian assistance from governments. The EU institutions ranked as the second largest donor in 2012 with $1.9 billion, and they were followed by the U.K. which contributed $1.2 billion. Luxemburg and Sweden were the most generous members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors, as a proportion of their gross national income, providing 0.16 percent and 0.14 percent respectively, said the report.

Pakistan and Somalia largest receivers

Pakistan, Somalia, and West Bank and Gaza Strip received the largest amount of international humanitarian assistance in 2011, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available, with donations respectively $1.4 billion, 1.1 billion and $849 million.

Meanwhile, some of the world’s poorest economies hosted refugees. Pakistan hosted over 1.7 million refugees in 2011, Iran 886,468, Syria 755,454 and Kenya 566,487.

In 2012, humanitarian assistance from most donors fell; Spain reduced its humanitarian assistance by half, Japan by 38 percent and the United States by 11 percent. As the U.S. is a large donor, this translated to a fall of $483 million, said the report.

Only 62.7 percent of humanitarian needs were funded in 2012, making this the year when the smallest proportion of total needs was met for over a decade.