Turkey spent ‘$1.5 billion’ on Syrian refugees

Turkey spent ‘$1.5 billion’ on Syrian refugees

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey spent ‘$1.5 billion’ on Syrian refugees

UNHCR commissioner Guterres (L) and the general director of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Oktay, sign protocols. AFP photo

The financial cost of Syrian refugees on Turkey has reached to 1.5 billion dollars, Fuat Oktay, chairman of the Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), told reporters on March 11 at a signing ceremony with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres for a cooperation protocol establishing mobile coordination centers outside of current refugee camps.

“As of today, the amount we spent in cash from resources of AFAD is almost 750 million Turkish Liras,” Oktay said. But, when the total expenditure is calculated in terms the United Nations, it is 1.5 billion dollars,” he added.

The 1.5 billion dollars includes operational costs such as transportation and salaries of state institutions for two years, Oktay said.

Oktay said the mobile coordination center would provide services to Syrians staying outside the refugee camps, adding that the UNHCR and AFAD would jointly fund the $3 million project.

“We have a small, symbolic contribution in this project, which of course is nothing compared to the volume of the project in itself and of the resources that the Turkish state is involving in it. It is a drop of water in an ocean, but also a drop that comes from the heart,” Guterres stated.

Later in the day, Guterres and Ahmet Lütfi Akar, the president of the Turkish Red Crescent Society (Kızılay), signed a protocol regarding humanitarian aid operations, particularly in regards to Syria