There are nearly a million Syrian war victims who have fled to neighboring Turkey. A quarter million of these are living in refugee camps.
The conflict in Iraq is also adding to the numbers of refugees arriving in Turkey. Thousands of Iraqi Yazidis, who were forced from their homes by the ISIL terrorist army, have sought refuge in Turkey.
The daily flow of refugees is putting a tremendous strain on the Turkish government and relief organizations. Turkey is building new camps for the refugees. There are also Syrians living on the streets in Turkey who need to be relocated to these camps.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is helping the Syrian refugees by providing rations and e-cards. The e-cards allow refugees to shop in local markets. This helps the local economy while providing the humanitarian aid.
There is great concern though over the shortage in funding for WFP operations in Turkey and the region. WFP says it may be forced to cut back on aid because of the lack of funds. This will be very devastating.
The UN food agency relies entirely on voluntary donations. The Syrian relief mission is a gigantic one with over 7 million people needing food aid. A WFP report says it needs US $ 324 million for its operations inside Syria and the neighboring countries like Turkey.
The Turkish government has already called upon the international community to help more with the refugee crisis. WFP, in a report, says, “Tensions between Syrians and host communities, although small-scale and isolated, have been reported during August.” This is often a crisis that can develop in countries hosting large numbers of refugees. If humanitarian aid is reduced these tensions will certainly increase.
So it’s vital that humanitarian aid be provided to establish some stability in this time of war. António Guterres, who directs the UN Refugee agency, says the Syria crisis, “has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them.”
While there has been a number of donations for Syrian relief, it’s just not enough to keep up with the size of this war. Guterres adds, “The bitter truth is that it falls far short of what’s needed.”
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