First World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul

Over 5,000 participants are expected to attend the first UN-organised World Humanitarian Summit that will be held in Istanbul, Turkey on May 23 - 24.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Archive photo shows Syrian refugee child at Ceylanpinar refugee camp in Turkey's Sanliurfa Province.

Turkey will host the first World Humanitarian Summit, on May 23-24, in Istanbul.

The summit, which has been organised by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is aimed at discussing humanitarian issues, around the globe, in detail.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a statement underlying the significance of the summit, saying “The World Humanitarian Summit must be a turning point in the way we address the challenges facing our common humanity.”

“The community of ‘we the peoples’ — governments, local communities, the private sector, international organisations and aid providers, as well as the thousands of committed and compassionate individuals assisting in crises and disasters every day — will succeed only if we work with a unified sense of purpose to end crises and suffering,” Ban said.

“We must build on the commitments made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by seizing the opportunity of this Summit to prevent and end suffering more decisively and with more capacity, resolve and resources,” he continued.

“We need to commit to working together collectively and coherently across political, cultural, religious and institutional divides.”

A package of practical steps ahead to prevent and end conflicts which have led to mass immigration, mass epidemic diseases, economic inequality and resources shortages all around the world is expected from the leaders, businessmen, civil societies, NGOs and other participants.

At the summit, Turkey, which is currently home to the world’s largest refugee population, will share its experience with handling humanitarian aid and emergency crisis.

Turkey is one of the world’s leading humanitarian donors, as it came in second with 2.42 billion dollars, following the United States, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) aid allocation report.

In terms of aid as a percentage of its gross national product, it came in first thanks to its international aid institutions such as the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), and the Turkish Red Crescent.

Turkey’s development aid provided via TIKA more than quadrupled from $85 million in 2002 to $3.59 billion in 2014.

Breaking the figures down regionally, $2.5 billion in aid was supplied to the Middle East, $455 million to the Caucasians, $383 million to Africa, $134 million to the Balkans/Eastern Europe, $26 million to the Far East, $4.5 million to the Americas, and half a million dollars to Oceania.

One of the fastest and most effective humanitarian aid delivery public institutions, AFAD provides aid for people affected by earthquakes, floods, drought, fire, and internal disorder in more than 40 countries across four continents.

In addition to humanitarian aid, AFAD provides education, healthcare, and social services at 26 shelter centres for nearly 272,000 Syrians, meeting the refugees’ physical, social, and psychological needs.

With its long history in Turkey, the Turkish Red Crescent aid charity, which is one of the strongest members of international Red Crescent/Red Cross Association federation has registered 105,000 volunteer stem cell donors, and collected two million units of donated blood last year.

TRTWorld, AA