Turkey to continue supporting Gaza with aid
Turkish authorities said Wednesday they will continue to keep their promises to Gaza after the World Bank said the country had not fulfilled its pledges. (AFP/File)
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Turkish authorities said Wednesday they are keeping their Gaza aid promises.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said Turkey’s realized and planned aid for Gaza in 2015 is $75.6 million.
Bilgic said that Turkey, during the Cairo conference in October 2014, had promised to provide $200 million during the 2015-2017 term to support the reconstruction of Gaza and the sustainable development of Palestine.
He added that the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has invested $1.5 million during 2015 to aid Gaza and the total amount of continuing projects reached a total of $28.8 million.
“The total amount of additional planned projects (by TIKA) totals $11.3 million,” he said.
Bilgic added that Turkey’s emergency agency, AFAD, and the Turkish Red Crescent have projected a total of $34 million in Gaza aid for 2015, “the distribution (of which) is due to start.”
“As is seen, our country is doing its part and is working without interruption to fulfill all the needs of our Palestinian brothers,” Bilgic said.
The World Bank, which is monitoring pledges made by international and regional donors at the Cairo conference toward the reconstruction of Gaza, recently said that Turkey had not fulfilled its pledges financially.
The Cairo conference was held after an Israeli offensive in 2014 killed more than 2,160 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and left the city in ruins. The 51-day campaign also resulted in the death of 73 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
Gaza has been under an all-out Israeli blockade since 2007, a measure that has deprived the coastal territory’s approximately 1.9 million residents of the most basic needs.
In a written statement, Bilgic also said that during the past ten years, Turkey’s aid to Gaza had reached $369 million.
He said that in 2014, Turkey provided $76.3 million in aid to Gaza.
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