The International Pediatric Association (IPA) yesterday announced it would give its International Peace Award to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his efforts in helping refugee children.
The award was announced after association officials visited refugee camps in Turkey.
Kerem Hasanoğlu, head of the association's external relations department, said the IPA management decided to give the award to Erdoğan for his contributions to the lives of refugee children. "Because Turkey offered a helping hand to more than 1.5 million children and did not let them die at a time when several countries remained indifferent," he said.
"Turkey, under the leadership of Erdoğan, has helped these innocent babies cling to life, while many countries in the world just ignored this situation," Hasanoğlu added.
According to the Anadolu Agency (AA), the number of Syrian refugees, who Turkish officials refer to as "guests," has reached 3,506,532. Turkey has so far spent more than $30.2 billion on the well-being of this displaced population.
Education is the main concern for refugees as youth and children make up the majority of Syrians taking shelter in Turkey. Turkey has so far reached out to 612,603 Syrian children in its bid to provide them with education. They attend public schools, schools run by charities and schools set up at some refugee camps. Turkey has invested $15.4 billion on the refugees' education, while investing $16.3 billion for health services. Ankara has often criticized the international community for not funneling sufficient humanitarian aid for the refugees in Turkey and not taking in more refugees.