ISTANBUL (AA) – The head of Turkish Red Crescent has urged the European Commission to act faster on its pledge to deliver aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey.
In remarks made to Anadolu Agency Tuesday, Dr. Kerem Kinik said: "Vulnerable people have no tolerance for waiting [for] this international humanitarian assistance.”
He called on the international bodies to accelerate their process for providing humanitarian and financial resources.
Kinik's comments came less than a week after the European Commission, which works in close cooperation with the Turkish Red Crescent, announced it would unlock €1 billion ($1.13 billion), out of a €3 billion (3.39) aid package by the end of July.
The multi-billion euro refugee facility is expected to meet the needs of Syrian refugees throughout 2016 and 2017. While €1 billion ($1.13 billion) will come from the EU budget, the remaining €2 billion ($2.26 billion) will come from EU member state contributions.
But as the Syrian conflict enters its sixth year, Kinik said the European Commission remains "too slow" and "bureaucratic" in releasing pledged funds to meet the needs of Syrian refugees.
"More than 300,000 people died, 1.5 million people were wounded and 11 million fled their country and their homes [in] the biggest humanitarian crisis we face after the Second World War," Kinik said.
He also said that the possible merger of the international organizations, Red Crescent and Red Cross, would be discussed at the upcoming humanitarian summit in Istanbul.
He recalled that the "joint Red Crescent" structure was suggested by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit.
"We will have efforts aimed at empowering and merging Red Crescent and Red Cross organizations, members of Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit," Kinik added.
Istanbul is set to host the first-ever international humanitarian summit on May 23 and May 24 when around 5,000 participants from government, business, aid organizations, affected communities, faith-based organizations, international and national nongovernmental organization, and academia will meet.
Hosting the most Syrian refugees in the world, Turkey has spent nearly $8 billion on caring for them since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. The European Commission’s total support so far through the refugee action plan amounts to €190 million ($214.87 million).
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among dozens of other world leaders expected to attend the summit, according to Kinik.