BEIRUT

Middle East

Turkey says aid pledge for Syrian refugees 'unfulfilled'

Syrian refugees queue to fill their buckets at Atmeh refugee camp, in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, Syria, Tuesday Feb. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday accused the international community of failing to honour financial pledges made last month to help Syrian refugees who have fled their war-ravaged country.

International donors at a Kuwait conference on January 30 pledged almost $1 billion (759 million euros) in aid to countries hosting stricken Syrians.

"Some pledges were made at the Kuwait conference but these pledges for assistance have not yet been fulfilled in a concrete way," Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu told a news conference in Ankara.

The United Nations has warned that refugee numbers could reach 1.1 million within months. Most of the refugees have fled to neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

Turkey, a one-time Syria ally now vehemently opposed to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, has taken in close to 200,000 refugees from the conflict that has killed more than 70,000 Syrians in nearly two years, according to UN figures.

"We would like the funds pledged at the Kuwait conference to be transferred as soon as possible," Gumrukcu said.

Turkey alone has spent more than $600 million thus far and received only around $90 million from the international community, said the spokesman.

 

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