The Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) has signed a cooperation agreement with its Sudanese counterpart with a view to helping the drought-hit Horn of Africa region.
On Tuesday, Turkish Ambassador to Sudan Cemalettin Aydın, TRC Deputy Chairman Naci Yorulmaz, and Sudanese Red Crescent President Dr. Hussein Suliman Abusalih all attended a signing ceremony in Khartoum.
Yorulmaz told Anadolu Agency that the Turkish government was highly concerned about the current situation in South Sudan, Yemen and East Africa.
"It has become our priority to help East African countries, especially South Sudan and Yemen, where millions of people are threatened with death due to severe drought conditions, conflict, instability, violence and economic recession," he said.
"Pursuant to this agreement, we will work hand in hand with the Sudanese Red Crescent and act jointly to distribute humanitarian aid in these countries," he added.
In a related development Tuesday, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, secretary-general of the Cairo-based Arab League, urged member-states to assist drought-hit Somalia.
"We appeal to Arab countries to maintain solidarity with Somalia and provide it with the necessary relief, either directly via the UN or through coordination with the Arab League," Aboul-Gheit said in a statement.
"We must strive to meet the needs of more than six million Somalis who are currently at risk of starvation," he added.
According to the UN, Aboul-Gheit said, some $825 million will be needed over the next six months to meet the needs of Somalis struggling with ongoing drought.
Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the international community to act urgently to help the people of Somalia, who are now facing the worst drought to hit East Africa in decades.
"People are dying," Guterres warned. "The world must act now."
"With the support of the international community," he added, "it is possible to avert famine and save millions of lives".
Earlier this month, the International Organization for Migration also called for "urgent action" to help over 20 million people who are facing the specter of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and northeastern Nigeria.
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