Global Health Security Agenda Intervention by Turkey

Umut Deniz 12.02.2014
Thank you Mr Director,

Turkey appreciates efforts deployed by the US and WHO to launch a Global Health Security Agenda, and hopes that this crucial initiative will yield concrete results and foster fruitful cooperation among a variety of stakeholders in different fields.

In order to strengthen health systems during emergencies, we extend our full support to WHO and Europe Regional Office. To this end, Turkey will host in İstanbul the Center for Preparedness for Humanitarian and Health Emergencies of the WHO EURO Regional Office. The Center is designed to enhance WHO regional capacity to support national response efforts in Member States during emergencies. It will also mobilize surge capacity for response activities launched by the Regional Office.

Regarding Turkey’s capabilities to act in emergency response, the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Syria is a case in point. Indeed, Turkey’s efforts in cooperation with WHO against the recent polio outbreak in Syria are widely commended, including vaccination campaigns and awareness-raising activities.

Apart from that, all the Syrians, either in or outside the camps in Turkey, are provided the same access to health services as Turkish citizens.

In 22 camps accommodating nearly 220 thousand Syrians, a daily average of more than 10 thousand Syrians are applying to the camp clinics. A total number of 2.2 million have applied until today.

Since the beginning of the crisis, over 47 thousand Syrians were hospitalized for intensive treatment. The number of Syrian babies born in Turkey is now more than 9 thousand.

In this context, our expenditures reached 2.5 billion Dollars until today, which made Turkey the fourth largest donor of humanitarian assistance in 2012.

Turkey stands ready to support WHO and its member States to improve their capacities in terms of preparedness to humanitarian and health emergencies. In addition to Turkey’s existing strength on regional responsiveness, the new Regional Center of WHO in İstanbul will be a main point of reference for further capacity-building throughout the efforts on global health security.

Thank you very much.


Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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