Turkey has raised over TL 717 million ($104.63 million) for the humanitarian crisis in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Thursday.
Speaking at the Non-Governmental Organizations Idlib Consultation Meeting organized by the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Soylu said the aid campaign in Turkey has raised TL 717.06 million since Jan. 13.
The interior minister also called President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the meeting and told him that Turkey would construct 50,000 more houses for the refugees in the region by the end of 2020.
Erdoğan congratulated NGO leaders for their contribution to build homes for the refugees in northwestern Syria.
He said that Turkey aims to fulfill its goals to build homes in the summer so the refugees can take shelter before the winter months hit.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan also said he would personally fund the construction of 50 more homes for Idlib civilians, in addition to Soylu's pledge to fund 20 homes.
Various Turkish NGOs have built briquette houses in different regions on the Turkey-Syria border, as displaced civilians struggle to find a safe place to take shelter amid overcrowding and lack of essential infrastructure in refugee camps.
Idlib is currently home to about 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout war-torn Syria, with some likely using the cease-fire as an opportunity to return home.
Most of the refugees sought shelter at camps close to the border with Turkey, while others went to areas under the control of the Syrian opposition.
The population of the province had gradually increased with many people running from regime attacks and terrorist torture. However, the displacement of civilians has intensified since mid-December when the Russian-backed Bashar Assad regime started a new assault to seize the last opposition bastion. It is estimated that over 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year, while half of this number was displaced after November 2019.