Turkey fourth biggest donor country

Syrian refugees wait at Turkish border gate Much of the humanitarian aid provided by Turkey is likely to have been spent on housing Syrian refugees

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Turkey was the fourth-largest donor of humanitarian assistance last year, according to an annual report by Global Humanitarian Assistance.

The report says that Turkey contributed more than $1bn (£665m) - 0.13% of its national income.

"It is likely" that much of this went to the surrounding region, especially due to the escalating Syrian crisis, the report says.

The United States remained the largest donor by volume, providing $3.8bn.

This amounts to 29% of all the humanitarian assistance provided by governments.

Sweden and Luxembourg were the most generous donor countries, giving the most aid in proportion to their gross national income.

The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report shows that 76 million people were identified by the UN as needing humanitarian assistance - compared with 93 million people in 2011.

The amount of international humanitarian assistance in 2012 totalled $17.9bn, more than 70% of which was provided by governments.

That was a fall of 8% on the year before.

GHA says the decrease might in part be driven by the absence of any "mega-disasters", in terms of fatalities, on the scale of previous years - such as the Japanese tsunami in 2011 or the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Giver and receiver

According to the GHA report, the top five donors were: the United States, European Union institutions, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Sweden.

Top five donors

  • United States $3.8bn
  • EU institutions $ 1.9bn
  • United Kingdom $1.2bn
  • Turkey $1bn
  • Sweden $784m

The most surprising finding is that Turkey ranks fourth on the list.

GHA says it is possible that a significant volume of the humanitarian assistance provided by Turkey might have been spent on housing Syrian refugees within Turkey's own borders.

There are almost 350,000 Syrian refugees registered in Turkey.

Turkey is also a recipient of international aid.

In 2011 it received its highest volume of aid to date, amounting to $3.2bn.

Almost 90% of this aid was from EU institutions.

Preventive action

The report also reveals the impact of the famine crisis in Somalia.

The data show that the famine is estimated to have claimed more than 275,000 lives in Somalia between 2010 and 2012, half of which were children under the age of five.

GHA says the crisis in Somalia was not solely caused by a shortage of food as a result of drought, but rather by a food shortage combined with market failure caused by conflict in the country.

The GHA report advises the donors to act earlier, take more preventative action, make better use of cash transfers and provide multi-year humanitarian funding cycles in areas of persistent need.

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