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Turkey should not be left alone on refugee issue: UNHCR representative

Anadolu Agency TURKEY
Published June 17,2021

Noting that Turkey hosts the most refugees of any country in the world, a UN representative said Wednesday that it should receive more support from other states in this regard.

"More support should be provided to Turkey by many other states who are not facing such a difficulty," Philippe Leclerc, the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey, said during an online meeting held by the Turkish Heritage Organization on the occasion of World Refugee Day.

Designated by the UN in 2000 to honor refugees around the globe, World Refugee Day is celebrated annually on June 20 to raise awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

Saying he is proud to work in Turkey, which is handling the refugee issue responsibly and seriously, Leclerc noted that Turkey provides education and access to employment to refugees under its "inclusion policy."

In addition to financial support to Turkey, he said industrialized states should also share the responsibilities on refugees through resettlement programs which would make it possible for refugees to live in other countries.

Leclerc said the refugee issue is not a Middle East phenomenon only, as most refugees are living in middle income or low-income countries with neighboring conflicts.

"The UNHCR is supporting Turkey to implement registration, organization and access to health for Syrian refugees," he added.

Amid mounting atrocities in the civil war raging in Syria since early 2011, Turkey opened its borders to Syrians fleeing from the Bashar al-Assad regime's brutalities.

Turkey is hosting some four million Syrian refugees.