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Nothing has changed for refugees in year since Alan Kurdi death, says father

Published 02/09/2016

Abdullah Kurdi is a Syrian who now lives in Iraq
Abdullah Kurdi is a Syrian who now lives in Iraq

The father of a three-year-old boy whose lifeless body photographed on a Turkish beach drew the world's attention to the plight of refugees says little has changed in the year since his death.

Abdullah Kurdi, a Syrian who now lives in Iraq, lost not only three-year-old Alan but also another son, five-year-old Galip, and wife Rihan, 35, a year ago when their boat sank during the journey from Bodrum, Turkey, to the Greek island of Kos.

Mr Kurdi was quoted by Germany's Bild newspaper as saying he is glad the photo of his son's body was published to "make clear to people what is happening", but he is upset that more has not been done for refugees.

"Politicians said after the death of my family: never again," he said. "Everyone allegedly wanted to do something after the photos that had so moved them. But what is happening now? The dying goes on and nobody's doing anything."

Mr Kurdi urged others contemplating the journey he undertook with his family to rethink their plans.

"I'd like to say to the refugees in the refugee camps that they shouldn't make this journey," he said. "The danger is too great. It's not worth it."

His sister, Tima Kurdi, posted this week on her Facebook page: "We must never forget the price for freedom.

"Please keep (Alan) and all those who died for the chance of freedom from the shackles of war in our daily prayers."


Meanwhile, Turkey's president has accused the European Union of failing to deliver funds it promised as part of a deal to stop migrants crossing the Aegean Sea.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the EU had pledged 6 billion euros (£5 billion) in support of three million refugees Turkey currently hosts.

"What happened? The support given until now is 183 million euros (£154 million)," Mr Erdogan said.

"And they did not give it to us, they gave it to Unicef. No country can stand alone in this crisis. Unfortunately the promises on this issue are not kept," he said.

There are fears in Europe that the March deal, which drastically reduced the number of migrants crossing to Greece, could unravel amid Turkish claims that the EU has not stuck to its promises.

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic denied the charges, saying the money it is providing "is funding for refugees and host communities, not for Turkey".

"The European Union is respecting its commitments under the EU-Turkey statement," she said. "Suggestions to the contrary, including on financial support for refugees in Turkey, are not true. In fact, we have accelerated the implementation of our commitments over the past months."

So far, of the 3 billion euros promised in the first instalment, 2.2 billion euros have been allocated, for humanitarian and non-humanitarian assistance, she said.


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