Sustainable Development Using the Turkish-Type Development Assistance Model

Serkan Kayalar
TİKA President

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) was established in 1992 to contribute to the economic and social development of the Central Asian Turkic Republics, which had gained their independence after the dissolution of the USSR. As a result of Turkey’s more active monitoring of foreign policy alongside its economic and political stability that increased in the 2000s, TİKA’s operational geography has also expanded to the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, Africa, South and East Asia, and Latin America. TİKA currently conducts development cooperation projects with 62 offices in over 170 countries and has contributed to Turkey’s activities in the international field.

As a result of the humanitarian and entrepreneurial diplomacy actively conducted, Turkey has become a significant global actor in the field of humanitarian aid. In this context, Turkey having hosted the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit, sheltering more than 4 million refugees, and being first in the world in humanitarian aid for 4 years most concretely reflects Turkey’s humanitarian stance.

Turkey has reported the official development assistance (ODA) to the OECD since 2005 under the coordination of TİKA. Emergency and humanitarian aid are some of the most important components of ODA. Alongside development projects aimed at long-term and permanent capacity building, TİKA also realizes humanitarian aid projects in regions with people in need due to reasons such as life safety, hunger, thirst, famine, shelter, and epidemics as a result of natural disasters, war, drought, and social conflicts.

Many humanitarian crises occurred in the world in 2020. TİKA has carried out effective interventions in cooperation with our related institutions, particularly in distant geographies, in the face of disasters such as the earthquake in Mexico; the floods in Cambodia, South Sudan, Mongolia, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan; and the Beirut explosion.

Through its offices, TİKA maintains its support for the Rohingya people living in difficult conditions in the camps in Myanmar and Bangladesh, for the Palestinian people under heavy embargo, and for the refugee camps in various African countries. The All-Girls Vocational School, built by UNRWA in Vahdet Camp in Jordan, was recently renovated. Due to facilitating the delivery of aid to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh’s city of Cox’s Bazaar, the construction of the steel bridge connecting the camps is also among the significant projects realized last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted many countries in 2020, creating new crises, especially in fragile and underdeveloped countries. During this period, TİKA has continued to share Turkey’s capacity by focusing on projects and activities to combat the pandemic. TİKA has carried out nearly 200 projects and activities in 70 countries in this context. Nearly 1.5 million people have directly benefited from these projects. The main frameworks in the activities that are carried out are emergency humanitarian response, strengthening health infrastructures, and increasing human capacity. Hygiene, food, medical equipment, and medical device support projects have been carried out in many geographies within the scope of emergency humanitarian assistance. Increasing local capacities have been prioritized in producing masks and disinfectants within the scope of supporting health infrastructures, and workshop installations and equipment grants have been implemented. Additionally, previously completed hospitals, clinics, and health centers; construction and equipment projects, and donated ambulances and equipment have served within the scope of struggling with the pandemic. The hospitals TİKA has built and equipped previously in Palestine, Georgia, Somalia, Pakistan, Niger, and Kyrgyzstan have provided important services during the pandemic. Medical equipment production trainings and trainings on combating the pandemic continue to be organized online in cooperation with our Ministry of Health within the scope of increasing human capacity. An effective model of cooperation has been carried out with our relevant institutions, the Red Crescent, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Directorate General of Migration Management, and NGOs. Turkey has continued to not close itself off, exhibiting international cooperative actions that will be an example to the world.

As one of the implementors of the Turkish-Type Development Cooperation Model, based on our esteemed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s motto “We will reach out all over the world, and wherever someone is suffering, we’ll go there as Turkey and help a little or a lot,” TİKA will continue to reflect Turkey’s humanitarian stance in its projects and contribute to the development of international cooperation in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals approved by the UN.

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