Turkish Red Crescent head urges humanitarian groups to help Africa as droughts expected to continue until 2025
by Özge Karagöz
ANKARAMar 10, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Özge Karagöz
Mar 10, 2017 12:00 am
Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kınık, speaking at the aid campaign meeting "Be a Hope for Humanity" in Ankara yesterday, underlined that drought and famine in South Sudan, Yemen and East Africa are expected to continue until 2025. Kınık also said that many figures from the public sector and private sector as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will likely carry out the aid campaign to provide help to the African people regarding basic needs such as food, potable water and sanitation.
Humanitarian aids groups in Turkey and public agencies such as the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), and the Turkish Red Crescent assembled their resources amid aims to help the African people who are at the edge of death due to starvation, initiated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. NGOs under the leadership of AFAD and the Red Crescent are expected to assist African countries with shipments via land and sea to those countries that have been in poverty for many years since the drought crisis.
During the meeting, the importance of coordinated efforts for fair aid distribution was stressed as Red Crescent President Kınık noted that the lack of potable water, food, and medicine in these regions is a serious problem. Kınık also pointed out that the aid provided by the U.N. is inadequate where 60 percent of the aid budget is spent for operational necessities regarding logistics.
Indicating more than 3 million African refugees had to leave their hometowns due to the conflict, Kınık said, "Clashes in the region had a negative impact on the agricultural lands, which leads to starvation. In particular, South Sudan has become a country where people are able to eat only once a day. Since African males eat what food is provided first according to African tradition, women and children were the ones who suffered from starvation."
While stressing that people living in these region are able to access potable water after walking 20-30 kilometers down a road, Kınık urged all societies to support the aid campaign to meet the African people's basic needs like food, water and health services.
Furthermore, the vice president of the Turkish aid agency that brought humanitarian aid to 56 countries, Fatih Özer, indicated that the situation in Africa is "very serious" and the aid sources should be combined and distributed in a coordinated manner. "We viewed the refugee camps in Africa that did not receive food aid for a month. Since they [African people] know that Turkey is helping them, they anticipate the aid from our country [Turkey]. They are loyal to people who go there [from Turkey]," Özer added.A representative from the Embassy of Somalia in Ankara Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, addressed the attendees at the meeting and said that Turkey has helped Somalia since 2011 and added, "Turkey has supported Somalia in terms of development processes, infrastructure and humanitarian aid. I express our [Somali's] thanks to the Turkish government and the Turkish people. We are waiting for help in areas where the drought is a serious problem in the region."