54 UN tents for refugees in Azaz, Turkey provides 5,200
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULFeb 24, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Feb 24, 2016 12:00 am
Amid the continuing flow of refugees from Aleppo due to Russia's ongoing air offensive in the area, the U.N. is still struggling to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis effectiveness. Turkey has been rallying for Syrian refugees fleeing the violence.
Intensified attacks by Russia together with the Syrian regime as well as the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) and DAESH terrorists have caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee to refugee camps in Azaz, located 7 kilometers from the Turkish border. With around 300,000 people now in Azaz, refugee camps and open areas near the Turkish border hold some 140,000 people.
Together with Turkey's Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent, the İHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has established eight refugee camps wıth 5,200 tents and 4,600 prefabricated houses to meet refugees' living needs. The institution also distributes meals to 32,000 people daily.
Despite these efforts, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has distributed only 54 tents, causing deep frustration about the institution's effectiveness in dealing with the refugee problem.
As Syria's northern neighbor, Turkey has taken in over 2 million refugees over the past five years. With Turkey home to more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, the government continues to act in dealing with the humanitarian aspect of the Syrian crisis.
A recent report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank says that the level of involvement in easing the burden on Turkey and other neighboring countries is not enough and that Ankara needs much more help to meet the needs of refugees in the country who now comprise 2.9 percent of the total population.
Considering the amount of funds Ankara has received from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) between 2011 and 2015, the report says that Turkey has enjoyed much less aid than Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon even though it has more refugees.
The report says that $212.4 million worth of allocations have been spent over four years by the CERF, which is managed by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and receives voluntary contributions year-round from United Nations member states and observers, regional governments, the private sector, foundations and individuals. Lebanon has received $39.5 million, Jordan $27.2 million and Iraq $20.6 million while Turkey has received $11.1 million.
The report also says that Turkey was not funded by the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) in 2015. The plan required $4.5 billion for 4.39 million refugees in Syria's surrounding countries and 1.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need. Turkey, however, received 37 percent of the aid and was left with a $624 million shortfall.
Contributing nearly $9 billion to humanitarian aid during the ongoing Syrian crisis, Turkey's aid for Syrian refugees has been 20 times more than the aid received from international organizations, according to AFAD.