Türkiye has always been the country that provides the most humanitarian aid in the world, according to data from international institutions, said the head of a Turkish foundation.
Izani Turan, general manager of the Türkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV), which is associated with Türkiye’s Presidency of Religious Affairs, said Türkiye will continue to be the most charitable country.
According to a recent report by UK-based Development Initiatives (DI), a global organization harnessing the power of data and evidence to end poverty, reduce inequality and increase resilience, Türkiye spent $5.59 billion in humanitarian aid last year, accounting for 0.86% of its GDP.
Türkiye allocated the highest GDP share among all aid donors, followed by the United Arab Emirates (0.21%), Luxembourg (0.18%), Sweden (0.16%), and Norway (0.15%).
“This success has undoubtedly been achieved by the Turkish people’s confidence in the state and non-governmental organizations,” Turan told Anadolu Agency.
In recent years, Türkiye has been focusing on needy regions and providing humanitarian aid in the form of food, education facilities and material, and accommodation.
In the northern Syrian province of Idlib, the country built nearly 100,000 briquette houses, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has set a new target of 250,000 houses.
Türkiye hosts around four million refugees, providing protection to more refugees than any other country in the world. The number of Syrians under temporary protection in Türkiye totals 3.75 million.
The country also conducts humanitarian aid work in Africa and Asia, including medical operations and agricultural support.
Meanwhile, on a value basis, the US provided the highest amount of humanitarian aid in 2021 at $9.77 billion or 0.04% of its GDP, followed by Türkiye, Germany ($3.17 billion), the UK ($1.6 billion), and Japan ($1.2 billion).
On a value basis, Türkiye ranked third in the DI report in 2013, 2014, and 2015, second in 2016 and 2020, and first in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Last year, Yemen was the largest recipient of humanitarian aid with $2.73 billion, followed by Syria ($2.14 billion), Afghanistan ($1.76 billion), Ethiopia ($1.56 billion), and South Sudan ($1.29 billion).
Saying that TDV is one of the most important links of the humanitarian aid chain in Türkiye, Turan stressed that the foundation is active in 149 countries with food, accommodation, education, and social support.
With over 1,000 branches and 31,385 volunteer staff, the foundation provided a vast amount of aid during the Muslim festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha this year, he said.
In the holy month of Ramadan, the foundation collected 139 million Turkish liras ($7.8 million) and provided food and clothes to 2.15 million people in Türkiye and foreign countries, he added.
Thanks to donations, on Eid al-Adha the foundation provided meat to nearly 22 million people across the world, Turan said.
The foundation has also provided monetary help to crisis regions such as Syria ($21.5 million), Palestine ($13.34 million), Yemen ($2.37 million), Rakhine-Myanmar ($2.22 million), Sudan ($2.1 million), Lebanon ($448,500) and Indonesia ($325,048) so far, he explained.
In Syria, the foundation plans to build 14,673 briquette houses and 6,214 of them have been completed so far, the manager said.
The DI report showed that currently, 306 million people are in need of humanitarian aid across the world.
Last year, the amount of aid from all countries was $31.3 billion, up from $30.6 billion in 2020, it said.