In 2012, Turkey surprised the world by giving more than $1bn in humanitarian aid, placing 4th on the list of the world’s top donors. Which countries find themselves on this list? The top three are the United States ($3.8bn), the European Union ($1.9bn) and the United Kingdom ($1.2bn). Despite Turkey’s economic crisis a few years ago, the country has managed to recover in record time, allocating a large budget for international humanitarian aid.
A sum of this aid has already been working for developing countries such as Somalia. Turkey’s aid program has promoted growth in a country displaced by war and hunger. Since the implementation of Turkey’s government assistance for Somalia there are new school buildings, several projects for rural villages underway and the possibility of new hospitals. Turkey has provided scholarships for students and have advised the Somalis every step of the way. Turkey has even provided a monthly budget of $4.5m per month of additional aid. Red Crescent, Turkey’s primary humanitarian organization has helped with this development throughout Somalia. They have built new health clinics, decontaminated water supplies and cleared trash to better the health of Samalis. Samali ambassadors have called Turkey, “a savior sent by God to Somalia.”
Now a year later, Turkey continues to offer aid. After Typhoon Haiyan hit the Phillipines, Turkey’s Red Crescent sent an Airbus cargo plane filled with tents, blankets and other vital supplies. In total they have given over 65 tons of aid items. Several of Turkey’s humanitarian aid organizations have also sent rescue teams, food packages and have begun work on aid campaigns. To believe Turkey once received development assistance after its civil war and now contributes alongside superpowers is truly remarkable.
– Maybelline Martez