UN: Refugee toll in Turkey may hit 2.5 million in 2015

Mon 27 Apr 2015 05:20 GMT | 09:20 Local Time

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The refugee toll in Turkey may hit 2.5 million in 2015.

“We haven’t seen the worst,” said Helen Clark, the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), regarding the refugee crisis across the world as we were talking right after the inauguration of a new regional hub in Istanbul on April 23, 

Impressed by a major Turkish refugee camp in Gaziantep by the Syrian border (“the best in the world,” she says), Clark underlined that Syria was now the biggest crisis in the world and “getting worse.” 

She said it was likely that more than 800,000 people might flee Syria in 2015 and that the toll in Turkey might hit an alarming 2.5 million, together with refugees from Iraq.

“Turkey is now the largest host of refugees anywhere in the world” and making an “incredible contribution” to Syrian refugees at its own expense, Clark says. “This is the best practice in the world.”

She thinks developed countries should assist poor ones more in order to eliminate the “root causes” of migration from conflict and poverty zones. As one of the possible candidates to become U.N. secretary-general after Ban Ki-moon, Clark was questioning the U.N. system for being “stuck in the 1940s” and encouraged it to rethink the veto system to overcome the crisis.

The UNDP regional office in Istanbul was launched due to Turkey’s “strategic and logistical position” to run the Eastern European, Russian and Central Asian activities of the UNDP in addition to other hubs in Amman, Addis Ababa, Bangkok and Panama City, she said.

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