Turkey urges global community to focus on Yemen in Geneva aid conference

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 25.04.2017 16:23

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak gave a speech at the UN conference in Geneva about the humanitarian crisis developing in Yemen, calling the global community to attention and urging them to assist people in Yemen, which is considered by Turkey to be a brother country.

The aid pledging conference, which kicked off Tuesday, aims to avert further hardship in Yemen by raising US$2.1 billion to deliver crucial food, nutrition, health and other lifesaving assistance for the country.

According to the UN, Yemen is currently the scene the world's largest humanitarian crisis. The country has suffered from a lack of international attention in part due events simultaneously taking place in Syria.

Kaynak stated that the world community should not lose any more time looking for a solution to the situation in Yemen, using the metaphor of a source of fire which could easily spread to other countries, "If we do not succeed to extinguish the fire there, it can be too late tomorrow. This fire will threaten Yemen first, then the region, and then can threaten the whole civilized world," he said.

About 80 percent of Yemen's inhabitants are in need of assistance, and Kaynak raised the side issue that times of crisis can make for an environment favorable to the spread of terrorist groups.

The deputy prime minister, appealed to conference attendants to take steps within their range of options, and emphasized that Turkey considered Yemen as a "friendly and brotherly country." Kaynak added that Turkey hoped to stop the bleeding of the Yemeni people and to help them receive the necessary humanitarian aid that they deserved.

Kaynak reproached the international community for its discord and mistrust as well as the ensuing incapacity to undertake decisive steps.

He also reminded the international public that Turkey had been buffering the Syrian crisis by offering shelter for more than three million refugees and spending more than $25 billion over the course of six years. He underlined that other countries should live up to their responsibilities and act in accordance with their promises to prevent Turkey from shouldering most of these international concerns alone.

Turkey has provided humanitarian aid to Yemen since 2012 and Kaynak, referring to statistical data from 2015 and 2016, explained that Turkey is one of the world's most generous countries in terms of spending for humanitarian aid.

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