Kuwaiti and Turkish officials Tuesday signed an aid deal to help Syrian refugees taking shelter in Turkey. Kuwait pledged to funnel $20 million to Turkey to be spent in education and health services for nearly 2.5 million displaced Syrians living in the country.
Murtaza Yetiş, chief adviser for Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, attended the signing ceremony of the aid protocol on behalf of the prime minister. He described it as an important agreement for Syrian refugees that would enable serious cooperation between the two countries on health and education for Syrians. "We believe this is the first stage of larger cooperation between countries aiding [refugees]. The crisis and the war in Syria is still ongoing, and we find it highly meaningful that Kuwait supports [displaced Syrians]," he said.
Abdulwahab A. Al-Bader, director general of the state-run Kuwait Fund for Development, said the funds will be used for investments that benefit the interest of Syrians, and stressed that Kuwait was among the signatories of an agreement regarding aid pledges amounting to $500 million at an international donors' conference last year for war-torn Syria.
Turkey has spent $8 billion looking after refugees, a figure higher than the combined international aid given to the displaced, and Turkey has been praised for its state-of-the-art camps that stand out among others elsewhere. Turkish authorities have called on other countries to do more, both to help the refugees and to end the Syrian crisis to curb the flow of Syrians entering Europe. Kuwait is among the largest donors to Syrians and pledged $1.3 billion. The country has also hosted three international donors' conferences for Syria and last year donated $121 million to the United Nations refugee agency.