By Nazli Yuzbasioglu
ISTANBUL (AA) – The head of the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees showered praise on Turkey’s own humanitarian aid efforts for refugees.
"Turkey has achieved great success in humanitarian assistance in recent years," Pierre Krahenbuhl, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), told Anadolu Agency on the second day of the just-concluded World Humanitarian Summit this Monday and Tuesday in Istanbul.
In light of the millions of refugees fleeing the Syrian crisis who have been received by Turkey, Krahenbuhl said Istanbul is a great place to come together and discuss humanitarian issues.
The summit comes as the Syrian civil war enters its sixth year, Europe is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and global social inequality has reached a peak.
During the summit, attended by 125 of the UN’s 193 member states, at least 50 heads of government announced commitments to reduce humanitarian disasters.
These include: preventing and ending conflict; respecting the rules of war; addressing forced displacement; addressing gender inequality; responding to climate change; ending the need for aid; and investing in humanity.
Turkey ranked third in the list of countries with the most international humanitarian work in 2012 and 2013, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, TIKA, says in its Turkish Development Assistance 2013 report – the latest such figures from the agency.
According to another 2013 Global Humanitarian Assistance report, the top five donors were the U.S. with $3.8 billion, followed by EU institutions ($1.9 billion), the U.K. ($1.2 billion), Turkey ($1.0 billion) and Sweden with $784 million.
Turkey has spent nearly $10 billion on caring for them since the start of the Syrian crisis.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Burcu Arik contributed to this report from Istanbul.