Turkey was responsible for almost 26 percent of all humanitarian assistance last year as recorded by Development Initiative.

Turkey spent $7.6 billion in humanitarian assistance last year, while global humanitarian aid totalled $29.6 billion in 2019.
Turkey spent $7.6 billion in humanitarian assistance last year, while global humanitarian aid totalled $29.6 billion in 2019. (AA)

Turkey contributed almost 26 percent of all global humanitarian aid in 2019.

It spent the most on humanitarian assistance in the three years dating back to 2017, according to the Development Initiative's (DI) Global Humanitarian Assistance Report that was released earlier this week.

Turkey spent $7.6 billion in humanitarian assistance last year, while global humanitarian aid totaled $29.6 billion in 2019, down from $31.2 billion in 2018.

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Highest humanitarian aid per GDP

Turkey's humanitarian aid expenditure was nearly 0.84 percent of GDP, while the US provided 0.03 percent, Germany 0.08 percent, the UK 0.11 percent, and Saudi Arabia 0.18 percent.

Turkey ranked third on the DI report in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and second in 2016.

It also hosts the highest number of refugees in the world at nearly 4 million, according to official figures. The number of Syrian refugees living in Turkey was 3.6 million as of May.

READ MOREHow Turkey has lived up to its responsibilities during the refugee crisis

Nearly 80 million globally displaced

Last year, the number of displaced people increased to 79.5 million, increasing 8 percent or 6.1 million on a yearly basis, the report showed.

Some $23.1 billion in humanitarian assistance was provided by governments and EU institutions while the remainder was given by private donors.

Private donors included individuals, trusts, foundations, companies, and national societies.

The report noted that most aid went to Yemen ($5 billion), Syria ($2.3 billion), Iraq ($1.3 billion), South Sudan, and Palestine (both $0.8 billion).

While humanitarian aid to Yemen increased 145 percent year-on-year in 2019, it decreased in the other four countries.

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Multilateral organisations transported $15.6 billion in aid, while $4.1 billion went through non-governmental organisations and $3.1 billion through the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movements.

DI is an independent international development organisation that focuses on the role of data in driving poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Pandemic to decrease humanitarian aid

Mevlit Yurtseven, the head of the Alliance of International Doctors (AID), said Turkey provides humanitarian aid above its capacity.

Touching on decreasing humanitarian aid, he warned that relief works may decrease much more this year and coming years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"After the pandemic period, governments will reduce the share of the aid in their budgets, and relief works will be limited," he said.

Yemen currently faces active conflicts and is in a crisis that needs immediate help, he said.

AID is active in countries in need of humanitarian aid, especially operating medical assistance.

READ MORE: Turkey has become a key support to refugees during the pandemic

Responsibility turns into mobilisation

Ridvan Kaya, the chair of the Free Thought and Educational Rights Society (Ozgur-Der), said Turkey's humanitarian assistance in recent years is a result of its sensitivity to regional and global issues.

Ozgur-Der is active with humanitarian aid activities especially in Syria by transporting material to conflict zones and building temporary houses for displaced people.

Long-term relief activities are not easy, "economic difficulties may decrease donations, and negative views from conflict zones can also result in a decrease in people's sensitivity to aid," Kaya underlined.

Highlighting the misery in Yemen, he said it took a long time to get the world to pay attention to the enormous troubles in the poor warring country.

Some countries, such as Russia and China, use humanitarian aid operations as a weapon, Kaya said.

Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council earlier this month that would have allowed international assistance to Syria to continue for six additional months through the Oncupinar and Cilvegozu border gates in Turkey.

READ MORE: Russia's bid to reduce cross-border aid to Syria fails at UN

READ MORENearly 80 million people forcibly displaced globally – UN

Source: AA