First Published: 2017-02-06

UN wants $3.5 bn for Syrian refugees in Turkey
UN calls on donors to supply billions for improving living standards for Syrian refugees in Turkey, as well as those in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt.
Middle East Online

Turkey home to almost 3 million Syrian refugees

NEW YORK CITY - The United Nations on Monday called on donor countries to supply $3.5 billion in the next two years to help improve education and living standards for the almost three million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey.

Ankara has repeatedly complained of being left alone to deal with the influx of Syrian refugees since the conflict began in March 2011.

The figure of $3.5 billion for the next two years is part of a $4.6 billion package the UN is seeking to help refugees including those hosted by Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

According to the latest UN figures, Turkey is hosting 2.75 million Syrians -- of whom 300,000 live in camps and 2.45 million, over 90 percent, live in host communities.

"The Turkey chapter of the plan appeals for more than $3.5 billion in new funding to provide vital support over the next two years to address the growing needs of Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them in Turkey," the UN said in a statement.

"Turkey needs and deserves much more financial support," said Jean-Marie Garelli of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

An UNHCR spokesperson said until last year the response plans for Turkey remained the "lowest-funded among those for the frontline host-countries of Syrian refugees."

"Turkey has now the experience on how large numbers of refugees and migrants can be handled in a reasonable way," said the UN's resident coordinator in Turkey, Irina Vojackova-Sollorano.

A priority for funding is education, with some 380,000 children or 40 percent of Syrian children in Turkey, not going to school, according to the UN children's agency UNICEF.

The plan also aims to improve nutrition of Syrian refugees, provide access to health services and encourage work opportunities including taking up the work permits that Turkey has allowed since 2016.

The UN said in its report on the plan that poverty remains prevalent among the Syrian population in Turkey, 80 percent of whom are registered in the southeast of the country.

"Many families have resorted to negative coping mechanisms, such as child marriage, polygamy, child labour, reduced quality or quantity of food consumption, substandard housing, and street begging," it said.

 

Iraq investigates Mosul civilian deaths

Iran to symbolically sanction 15 US companies

Separate Syria air strikes kill at least 32

Two more 'significant arrests' over London attack

Cities, monuments dim lights for Earth Hour

Hamas shuts Gaza crossing after assassination of official

Deep concern as Israeli laws entrench the occupation

Turkey’s Kurds could sway tight referendum vote

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

US and allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Israel’s air strike on Syria spooks Middle East

Gunmen kill Hamas official in Gaza

UN says Israel has ignored resolution on illegal settlements

Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a 'test' for Kurds

More Algerian women in work, but husbands control wages

Beirut university settles US lawsuit over Hezbollah

1.1 million weekend travellers from Dubai hit by laptop ban

Shiite Lebanese women endure painful custody battles

Russia, China seek Iraq chemical weapons probe

Besieged Syrians struggle with dwindling dialysis supplies

Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels

Syria says peace talks must first focus on 'terrorism'

12 Syrian refugees dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

Mosul displaced head into unknown

As war keeps them away, Yemen children dream of school

Ousted Egyptian president Mubarak freed from detention

Iraq's Sadr threatens boycott if election law unchanged

Israel, US fail to reach settlement agreement

Yemen rebel missile kills Saudi soldier

Turkish FM in Switzerland amid rising tensions with Europe

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgium’s Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote

Israel policeman suspended after caught on video beating Palestinian

Turkey summons Russia envoy over soldier death in Syria

Bahrain sentences three to death for police bombings

UN-backed Syria talks restart in Geneva

EU summons Turkey envoy over 'safety' remarks

400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City

Saudi film festival launch postponed after sandstorm

10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings