1.2M refugees in Turkey own charity debit cards


Turkish Red Crescent provides debit cards to nearly 1.2 million refugees in the country, according to a UN official.

"Currently we have 140,000 people living in camps and 1.2 million living outside camps," Nils Grede, the country director for World Food Program (WFP), told Anadolu Agency.

He said 2 million people had applied for the emergency social safety net, of which 1.2 million were accepted, while 800 did not meet the criteria.

Explaining the two programs the UN agency runs, he said it provides each refugee residing in the camps 50 Turkish liras ($12.87) every month. The Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) complements the assistance with another 50 liras.

The second project, financed by the EU and supported by the WFP and Turkish Red Crescent, provides each refugee living outside the camps 120 liras ($30.2) every month.

He added that additional aid to refugee families is provided every three months, in accordance with the size of the family.

"Turkey is an example of how we as the world should deal with the refugee issue," Grede said.

"We should not lock them away in the camps. We should let them live among us. We should open up our health and education systems to these refugees and allow them to live a life of dignity," he added.

Turkey hosts more than 3.2 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.

The country has spent $30 billion from its own national resources to help and shelter refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

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