Turkey spent over 500 mln on refugees

Turkey spent over 500 mln on refugees

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey spent over 500 mln on refugees

Newly arrived Syrian refugees are seen at Ceylanpinar refugee camp. REUTERS photo

Turkey has spent more than 500 million Turkish Liras of government money on accommodating refugees from the crisis in neighboring Syria, Fuat Oktay, chairman of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), said yesterday.

That figure included only the money that was transferred through AFAD, he told reporters during a visit by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Rajiv Shah.

The organizational structure delivered more than 90 percent of resources directly to those in need, he said. The developments in Syria require a structure allowing Turkey to deliver aid with the assistance of its strategic allies and friends, Oktay said.

Turkey is hosting nearly 130,000 Syrian refugees, Oktay said, adding that the number of people outside the camps was increasing day by day. International organizations, such as the United Nations, were willing to work with AFAD, he said.

He drew attention to difficulties with transferring cash to Turkey through the United Nations due to long bureaucratic procedures.

He invited countries and international organizations to contribute to AFAD’s pool of projects for aid to Syrian refugees.

Shah said they visited Turkey to learn how to assist Turkey’s leadership and efforts and make contributions.

The U.S. has donated 200 million dollars in humanitarian aid for Syrians within Syria and in camps outside the country, he said.

The U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, will also visit the refugee camps in Kilis today.