Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Britain to aid 10,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey

Britain will donate 1 million pounds (1.25 million euros) to help 10,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey cope with the upcoming winter, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Wednesday.

"It's clear that the scale of the challenge is huge, however, with over 93,000 registered refugees in the camps along the Syrian-Turkish border and more crossing every day," said the British deputy prime minister, according to a statement from his office.

"That's why we're announcing this additional funding for the Turkish Red Crescent, working alongside the Turkish government, the UN and the wider humanitarian community, to meet the critical needs of refugees this winter."

His remarks came during a meeting in Ankara with officials from the Turkish Red Crescent.

Britain's new funding will provide 10,000 Syrians who have fled ongoing fighting in their home country with essential supplies to cope with the freezing Turkish winter, said Clegg.

"This assistance will be used to ensure that Syrian citizens that are being housed in camps around the border have access to sufficient humanitarian supplies such as blankets and other equipment to help them cope with the winter," said Omer Tasli, general director for the Turkish Red Crescent.

Turkey is hosting growing numbers of Syrian refugees in several camps in the southeast along the border.

The Ankara government, which has allocated at least $300 million to help the refugees, has repeatedly called on the international community for extra aid.

A Turkish official earlier told AFP that a Saudi charity group would build a container city that can house 10,000 Syrian refugees in Kilis province near the border.

AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012