Turkey

Turkish Red Crescent helps over 54,000 aid trucks reach Syria

Head of Red Crescent outlines aid organization's efforts for asylum seekers in Turkey, relief projects in Syria

Meltem Ozturk   | 04.03.2021
Turkish Red Crescent helps over 54,000 aid trucks reach Syria

ANKARA 

Through the Turkish Red Crescent, 54,807 aid trucks or vehicles have made it to the Idlib region in Syria, as well as Turkey's cross-border operation zones in the country's north and northwest, the head of the aid organization said on Wednesday. 

Addressing lawmakers on the projects that have been implemented for asylum seekers in Turkey and in the northwestern region of Idlib in Syria, Ibrahim Altan underlined that Red Crescent's field coordinator for Syria continues to serve people from the war-torn country residing in seven camps and 14,209 containers in the Adana, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Kilis and Osmaniye provinces in southern and southeast Turkey.

Altan noted that the organization had coordinators for children's programs, cash-based support programs and community-based initiatives on migration, explaining to legislators in the parliament's human rights committee that they were working with 1,193 personnel in 110 centers across 22 provinces.

Hospitals, health centers, camps, playgrounds and orphanages have also been in Idlib, as well as Turkey's cross-border operation in northern and northwestern Syria, he said, adding that 548 domestic and international non-governmental organizations, as well as 2,763 donors, contributed to the relief efforts.

On the organization's cross-border operations, Altan said 111,000 tents, 2.7 million hygiene kits, 38 million liters of water, 8 million food parcels, 116 million loaves of bread, 61 million articles of clothing, 523 ambulances and 3.6 million blankets have been shipped to the region.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Altan underlined that the aid group had brought various kinds of protective equipment worth about $7 million to the region with UN and EU resources.

UN, EU funding

All the resources that the Turkish Red Crescent uses in providing debit cards for Syrians in Turkey, as well as for social adaptation efforts, conditional education support and language support, come from the UN and EU, the head of the organization said on Wednesday.

Addressing lawmakers on the projects that have been implemented for asylum seekers in Turkey and in the northwestern region of Idlib in Syria, Ibrahim Altan underlined that the Turkish Red Crescent had first started issuing the debit cards, known as Red Crescent cards, to Syrians after April 2011, later expanding the initiative to all other foreign nationalities. The cards contain 120 Turkish liras ($16) per person.

He stated that the group attached great importance to coordinating cash-based support programs, adding that 99% of these resources were from the EU and UN.

Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN estimates.

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