TURKEY

Turkish Red Crescent helps 4.5M Syrians

TURKISH RED CRESCENT HELPS 4.5M SYRIANS

The Turkish Red Crescent Society, locally known as Kizilay, has sent aid to 4.5 million people hit by war in Syria, its head said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in the southern Mersin province, Kerem Kinik said that in recent years humanity has been suffering the biggest crisis since World War II, with conflicts in around 40 regions of the world.

"There are 65 million refugees who have fled their homeland. This is a very big number," Kinik said, adding that a large part of the crisis had occurred close to Turkey.

He said that if his organization does not help people in Syria, they will come to Turkey to seek shelter.

Turkey hosts over 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent $25 billion in sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

To help war victims, Kizilay has sent 40,000 truckloads of humanitarian aid to Syria, including 230,000 tons of flour.

It has also opened nine clothing centers in Syria where new clothes are offered to people free of cost.

Over 2,000 orphans are protected in 12 orphanages run by Kizilay, all offering special programs for the elderly, widows, and children.

Together with the Health Ministry, Kizilay has plans to build hospitals in the region, like the Jarabulus Hospital it opened in the war-torn Aleppo last year.

It will extend its support to schools, and has begun building 1,000 permanent houses in Idlib.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

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