Turkey has provided aid to a total of 125 countries that asked for support for their struggle against the COVID-19 outbreak, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on June 9.
Çavuşoğlu hosted an online event called “Refugees and Displaced Persons During the Pandemic: The Need for International Cooperation” held under the framework of Antalya Diplomacy Forum.
“During this phase, we once again realized the importance of effective international cooperation in the face of global crises, though painfully. When considering the severity and the global nature of the outbreak, Turkey took early action on delivering help to others. So far, we have met 125 countries’ requests for assistance. We will continue our relief efforts,” he said, addressing the event.
The minister emphasized that the displaced people are deeply affected by the pandemic.
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First of all, the closure of borders, the deterioration of global production, the disruption of global logistics and supply chains hampered the efforts for helping the refugees, Çavuşoğlu said.
Secondly, closing the borders also prevented asylum applications, he said, noting that they were unable to resolve it yet.
“Third, it has become difficult to include internally displaced people in the already distressed national health systems.
Fourth, they were more exposed to the virus. The crisis also revealed the importance of early information campaigns. Finally, refugees are deeply affected by the economic consequences of COVID-19,” he stated.
There is a need for inclusive, sustainable and stronger international action, the minister said and added, “First, we can start with short-term solutions, including cash relief programs to mitigate the impact.”
International actors should make efforts particularly for elderly, women and disabled people, he said and emphasized the significance of education and current difficulties in providing that at the moment.
“We should take a multi-stakeholder approach to unite our efforts. In addition to countries, private donors and companies should also participate,” he stated.