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Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority

AFAD President M. Halis Bilden Speaks At HABITAT III Conference 19 October 2016

AFAD President M. Halis Bilden drew attention to the plight of Syrian refugees at the Habitat III: The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador.

Quito-Ecuador / Disaster and Emergency Management Authority – AFAD President Mehmet Halis Bilden made a speech at the “Leave No One Behind: Urban Inclusion and Prosperity” High-Level Roundtable during the Habitat III Conference which is taking place in the capital of Ecuador. 500 participants attended to the high-level roundtable.

AFAD President Bilden highlighted that the World is witnessing one of the largest population movement in its history and said: “According  to UN statistics, 65 million people displaced because of the disasters and conflicts in the World. 41 million people displaced internally while 21 million uprooted from their homes and sought refugee in differet countries. Humanity is in a dire state and humanitarian system ringing alarm bells. Humanity faced with the biggest population movement since the WW2.”

The Largest Refugee Hosting Country: Turkey

Expressing that Turkey is at the centre of biggest population movement in the last century, Bilden said that “5 million of the 21 million refugees worldwide are Syrians. And Turkey is home to every three Syrians out of five, under the coordination of AFAD. This means Turkey hosts more than half of the Syrians refugees in the World, alone. This is why UNHCR declared Turkey “The Largest Refugee Hosting Country and also “The Largest Children Refugees Hosting Country.”

“Turkey is the World’s hand of conscience” he added and continued: “Today we are hosting nearly three million Syrians. With great sensitiveness and generosity in the sixth year of Syria Crisis. we perceive the issue through a humanitarian perspective. From the day one of the crisis we have followed the directives of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and have applied “Open Door Policy” which we regard as a historic humanitarian lesson.”

Bilden pointed out that Turkey opened its doors widely to the Syrian refugees and “We have opened our first camp just two days after the population movement begun. Today we accommodate 260 thousand Syrians in 26 AFAD prefabricated houses and tent cities in 10 provinces of Turkey. We call this centres “cities” because we host people as many as the population of some European cities and offering same standards that can be found in a modern city. For instance we accommodate more than 30 thousand people in AFAD Akcakale Tent City.” he added.

AFAD President M. Halis Bilden continued: “The aforementioned AFAD cities were rewarded for their success as an exemplary model of digital management. AFAD’sTemporary Sheltering Centres Management System (AFKEN) won the UN Best Public Service award in 2015. And maybe you’ll remember, The New York Times penned an article headlined “How To Build A Perfect Refugee Camp”. The US newspaper praised the AFAD’s sheltering centres as “5-Star Camp”.

International community shut their eyes on Syria crisis

Turkey couldn’t receive the aid it expects from international community Bilden said. “While Turkey spent $25 billion of humanitarian aid for Syrians, we received contribution of only $512 million from international community. As Turkey we provided 50 times more humanitarian aid than the rest of the world.” he added.

“The Most Generous Country in the World”

AFAD President revealed that Turkey, with the approach of “First Life”, increased its humanitarian aids by %200 in last four years. Bilden also reminded that “Turkey has been declared the World’s Most Generous Country in the World” according to the Global Humanitarian Report 2016.

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