Turkey will host the groundbreaking World Humanitarian Summit, the first summit of its kind, from May 23 to May 24 in Istanbul. The summit will address humanitarian problems and bring world leaders together to agree on a package of practical steps forward. The summit, spearheaded by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), will discuss humanitarian issues in detail.
Turkey is currently home to the world's largest refugee population, and it has spent $10 billion on the refugee crises within its borders since 2011. Turkey is well-prepared for the high-profile summit, which will see up to 5,000 participants, including diplomats, business figures, nongovernmental organizations, international agencies and representatives of communities affected by refugee crises.
The global humanitarian charity system has failed to properly meet the consequences of humanitarian crises stemming from ongoing conflicts, war, rising economic inequality and resources shortages. Some 80 percent of such crises spring from armed conflict and lead to mass migration and epidemic diseases, which put strain on the international system. Humanitarian crises anywhere in the world have the potential to affect neighboring countries. For this reason, international agents should act ethically to improve aid capacity in line with their responsibilities.
Toward this end, the summit will suggest sustainable policies and measures to countries in order to address shortcomings and difficulties in the humanitarian system. Turkey will share its experience with handling humanitarian aid and emergency crises at the summit. Meanwhile, visitors can follow the summit online at dizturkiye.org
Turkey, as one of the world's leading humanitarian donors, has taken in almost 3 million refugees who have fled war zones and conflict regions, including 2.7 million Syrian refugees, according to official statistics. Turkey's successful provision of humanitarian and emergency aid is thanks to the hard work of several institutions, especially the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent. Among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) allocated aid rankings, Turkey came in second with $2.42 billion following the United States, but in terms of aid as a percentage of its gross national product (GNP), it came first.
One of the fastest and most effective humanitarian aid delivery public institutions, AFAD, is a public body for intervening in emergencies in many countries, as it has in Ukraine and Somalia, and was the first aid provider to arrive in the earthquake zone in Nepal last year. AFAD also single-handedly coordinates all services for Syrian refugees taking shelter in Turkey from the Syrian civil war. With its innovative and human-centered attitude on emergency cases, AFAD provides aid for people affected by earthquakes, floods, drought, fires and internal disorder in more than 40 countries across four continents. In addition to humanitarian aid, AFAD provides education, healthcare and social services at 26 shelter centers for Syrians, meeting the refugees' physical, social and psychological needs. AFAD data shows that the total number of refugees in camps is nearly 282,000, including 272,000 Syrians.
Regarding healthcare, ambulatory services have been provided more than 5 million times since 2011 at the shelters while some 9.46 million people have been provided hospital care. According to hospital data, more than 480,000 people have received in-patient treatment and more than 325,000 have received medical operations. Moreover, nearly 152,000 infants have been born to Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Additionally, nearly 79,000 students have been educated in 1,211 classes in refugee camps where some 7,000 children have attended preschool, 43,000 have attended primary school, 20,000 have attended secondary school and 9,000 have attended high school. The number of Syrian students in Turkey, including public schools, is 325,000. Meanwhile, nearly 14,000 adults have received education in 300 ongoing courses, while around 62,000 Syrians completed their studies in 2,000 courses that they previously began.
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