Erdogan urges world to act on humanitarian crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Monday the current humanitarian system as “inadequate for solving urgent problems”.

Speaking at the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Erdogan said that only certain countries were sharing the burden of the humanitarian crisis.

"Now everybody should take on responsibility on this issue," he said.

The Turkish president said that while needs were increasing day by day, the funds were not increasing at the same rate.

"We see some difficulties and tendencies of evading the responsibility by the international community over aid financing," he said.

"Turkey is a country that knows this weakness and experiences it in a bitter way," he said, adding that while Turkey has spent around $10 billion on humanitarian aid for around 3 million refugees on its soil since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the international community spent around $455 million.

He said that the humanitarian summit should be a turning point in aid financing.

Historic summit

During the World Humanitarian Summit, attended by 125 of the UN’s 193 member states, at least 50 heads of government will announce several commitments to reduce humanitarian disasters.

The summit comes as the Syrian civil war enters its sixth year, as Europe is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and as global social inequality has reached a peak amid a rising population.

Hosted by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, world leaders of UN member states, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are gathering in Turkey’s largest city Monday and Tuesday.

These include: preventing and ending the conflict; respecting the rules of war; addressing forced displacement; achieving gender equality; responding to climate change; ending the need for aid; and investing in humanity.

Turkey ranked third in the list of countries with the most international humanitarian work in 2012 and 2013, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, TIKA, says in its Turkish Development Assistance 2013 report -- the latest such figures from the agency.

According to another 2013 Global Humanitarian Assistance report, the top five donors were the U.S. with $3.8 billion, followed by EU institutions ($1.9 billion), the U.K. ($1.2 billion), Turkey ($1.0 billion) and Sweden with $784 million.