Turkey says has spent $600 mln on Syria refugees
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has spent more than $600 million sheltering refugees from the almost two-year-old conflict in neighbouring Syria, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Friday.
Of that total, the central government had spent 610.5 million lira from its budget by February 5, Simsek said on his official Twitter account.
Local authorities have provided the rest, he added.
Turkey has been one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fiercest critics, hosting a NATO Patriot missile defence system to protect against a spillover of violence and leading calls for international intervention to end the conflict.
The United Nations said on Friday that refugee numbers have spiked, with around 5,000 people fleeing each day, 2,000 more a day than last year's figures.
Turkey is sheltering more than 177,000 refugees in 16 camps, although tens of thousands more Syrians have crossed into Turkey and are staying with relatives or in private accommodation, according to the country's disaster management agency.
Government officials complain Turkey has received only around $35 million for its humanitarian assistance from foreign donors, half of that from the United Nations.
The government is tightly controlling the aid effort, channelling assistance largely through Turkish NGOs in what it says is a bid to ensure it is properly co-ordinated.
Some diplomats have suggested foreign funding might be more forthcoming if international organisations such as the United Nations were given greater control.
Turkey's total central government budget spending was 360 billion lira last year. (Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Oliver Holmes)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- U.S. strikes have slowed Iraq militants but not weakened them - Pentagon
- EXCLUSIVE - Apple iPhone 6 screen snag leaves supply chain scrambling
- UPDATE 7-U.S. says Russia must pull convoy from Ukraine or face more sanctions
- U.S. urges Moscow to immediately withdraw convoy from Ukraine
- UPDATE 3-Dynegy cuts exposure to wholesale power with deals worth $6.25 bln
Ukraine declared on Friday that Russia had launched a "direct invasion" of its territory after Moscow sent a convoy of aid trucks across the border into eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian rebels are fighting government forces. Full Article
Gunmen execute 18 alleged collaborators in Gaza; Israel launches air strikes. Full Article
Documented death toll in syria war at least 191,369 through April 2014 - U.N. Full Article
Journalist Foley's parents, after call with pope, call for prayer and action. Full Article