Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation IHH held a news conference to unveil its “2018 World Child Report” which includes detailed reports on orphans across the world.
The report was published on World Orphans Day as the IHH gathered 40 orphans from across the world for the occasion.
Orphans from Palestine, Lebanon, Xinjiang Uighur, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Syria, Albania and Kyrgzstan attended the event at the foundation's headquarters along with IHH officials.
Resat Baser, IHH’s deputy chair for orphan affairs, said the report mentioned that there are 400 million orphans across the world while the UN figures showed the number as 153 million.
The report includes more details on Yemen, where 2 million children cannot receive education and 11 million children need urgent support, according to Baser.
He also criticized western countries for not taking care of refugee children.
“Only in 2015, 100,000 children who applied for asylum to the United Nations [in western states] disappeared,” he added.
Baser mentioned the IHH had undertaken the responsibility of 93,000 orphans from 55 countries with the financial support of philanthropists in Turkey.
Orphans from Palestine, Niger and Azerbaijan also spoke at the event calling for more support for the orphans.
Selma Abu Matar, sister of Meryem Abu Matar who was shot by Israeli forces during a recent protest in Gaza and taken to Turkey for better treatment by IHH, explained their plight under Israeli occupation.
She said Israeli forces shot her sister while staging a peaceful protest on the Palestinian border against the embargo of Israel and the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“All this happened to us because the Zionist Israel invaded our country. Normally healthcare is very good in our country. But because of Israel, my sister did not get a good treatment. I came to Istanbul with her,” she added.
Zehra Bairamova from Azerbaijan said: “Do not let the children cry in any country… Let people live in peace.”