Estonia to Help Syrian Refugees in Turkey
The Foreign Ministry is helping to improve the situation of Syrian refugees that have fled to Turkey through the International Federation of the Red Cross.
According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, the local people are the ones who have suffered the most in the Syrian crisis that began in the spring of 2011. “On account of the crisis in the country, 2.5 million Syrians need humanitarian aid and 3 million people are suffering from a food shortage. The number of internally displaced persons in Syria has risen to 1.2 million and there are nearly 400 000 Syrians seeking aid from neighbouring countries,” Paet noted, adding that the UN estimates that by the end of this year the number of people that have fled Syria to neighbouring countries could reach 710 000.
The foreign minister said that over 110 000 Syrians have already fled to Turkey and currently there are 14 Syrian refugee camps in Turkey accommodating a growing mass of people. “The refugees need water, food, and shelter, plus opportunities to bathe and maintain hygiene. Other necessary aspects of life must also be provided for the refugees, such as education, health care, and social and psychological assistance,” said Paet. “With winter approaching, humanitarian aid needs in the refugee camps will grow even greater, and therefore Estonia decided to respond to Turkey’s appeal and do its part to support the activities of the Turkey Red Crescent Society,” he added.
The Foreign Ministry is supporting Syrian refugees in Turkey with 70 000 euros. In addition, Estonia has supported the Syrian Humanitarian Relief Fund of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) with 50 000 euros, helped victims of the domestic conflict in Syria through the International Committee of the Red Cross with 50 000 euros, and aided Syrian refugees in Jordan through the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees with 50 000 euros.