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Turkey surpasses US in distribution of global humanitarian aid

Turkey has outpaced many countries in terms of humanitarian aid distributed across the world.

Turkey has embraced Syrian refugees fleeing civil war, Palestinians suffering Israeli offensives in Gaza, Yazidis fleeing clashes between Islamic State (ISIS) militants and Kurdish fighters in the Tukish-Syria border town of Kobani.

Turkey has distributed a large amount of humanitarian aid worldwide and has even outpaced the US, which came in second.

Fuat Oktay, the head of Turkish relief agency AFAD, said throughout history Turkish people have been known for their charitable traits.

“Turkey reaches all people who have a problem and is thanked for its assistance,” said Oktay.

Touching on the UN’s report that shows the countries which provide the most aid across the world, Oktay said the most generous countries were US, UK and Turkey respectively in 2012 and 2013.

“But, according to the numbers in 2013, when we look at gross national product, Turkey is the country which provided the most assistance.”

“Turkey is not only in Syria and Iraq, but also in the Philippines, Bosnia and Serbia as well as Gaza, Somalia and Africa,” he added.

Turkey will continue to extend its hand to oppressed peoples, Oktay stressed, adding that it will host the World Humanitarian Summit, an initiative by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in 2016.

“Turkey will present its message [on humanitarian aid] to all states and nations at the summit,” he said.

Turkey has granted millions of dollars to Syria and Iraq as well as other countries hit by crises or natural disasters since 2012.

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