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Press Centre (3/2014)

Turkey and UNICEF strengthen cooperation for children

Photo: UNICEF-Kwame Boyce
Signing ceremony at UNICEF house – from left PARMO Deputy Director, Dominique Hyde; AFAD Director General, Fuat Oktay; Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, Yasar Halit Çevik; and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt.

Turkey and UNICEF strengthen cooperation for children

Partnership to guarantee 13,863 Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Myanmar with access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

New York Friday 28 February – A signing ceremony between the Government of Turkey and UNICEF for a contribution of over one million US dollars towards Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) consolidates the partnership between Turkey and UNICEF for children.  “I’m looking forward to more cooperation in the difficult work that we are undertaking” said the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, His Excellency Ambassador Yasar Halit Çevik. UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt likewise highlighted the importance of the partnership “I’m very happy about this collaborative relationship and hope that we can build on it in the future”. 

The funds will be used to meet the needs of some 13,000 people that have been displaced by the intercommunal violence of October 2012 and who are now living in camps in Rakhine state in PaukTaw and Myebon townships. UNICEF will work with local government, national and international NGO partners and the displaced communities to provide them with all basic WASH services and facilities, especially targeting those people who have not been reached by other assistance.

Director General, Dr. Fuat Oktay, for the Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) signed the agreement. Dr. Oktay mentioned an official Turkish visit to Myanmar in 2012 and how the humanitarian crisis left the delegation with a strong feeling of wanting to take action. 

“Of course when we talk about children, UNICEF is one of the leading partners that comes to mind. We’ve been working together throughout history and will be working from now on as well”. Dr. Oktay said he personally witnessed the humanitarian tragedy in Myanmar. A campaign in Turkey in 2012 led to support being provided to Myanmar. “Hopefully the situation is going to get better soon, and there will be no children out there who need our help. Unfortunately that is not the reality and we’re grateful that we can partner with UNICEF for these children.”

The current conditions with regard to WASH in the Internally Displaced People (IPD) camps vary between townships. UNICEF leads the WASH cluster in Myanmar and has been co-ordinating the relief effort in close collaboration with government, international and national NGOs and UN agencies since the beginning. 

“I think the partnership goes beyond just what’s being done in Myanmar and beyond this funding” Deputy Director for the Public-Sector Alliances and Resource Mobilization Office (PARMO), Dominique Hyde said at the signing ceremony. Turkey’s role in hosting Syrian refugees was also mentioned. “We have been extremely appreciative in the UN and UNICEF for the work that has been done by Turkey to help over a million Syrian refugees in the country – and we hope we can learn from this for the other countries where we support Syrian refugees,” Hyde said. “This is not the first time we work together, and we will continue working together.”
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org