Turkish agency tends to the wounds of war-torn Gaza

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 24.07.2014 15:39
Updated 24.07.2014 16:39
Turkish agency tends to the wounds of war-torn Gaza

Turkey continues to help the destitute and the needy in the war-torn Gaza Strip where over 730 people have been killed and over 4600 were wounded by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), based on the orders of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is currently distributing food and other humanitarian supplies in Gaza. TİKA has recently distributed 15,000 food packages and 15,000 meals besides continuing to carry out water and sanitation projects along with education, health care, orphanage and infrastructure projects trying to ease the effects of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Throughout the month of Ramadan, 15,000 fast-breaking meals were distributed by TİKA to the people who escaped their homes in Shujaya, Tuffah, and Zeytun neighborhoods in Gaza due to indiscriminate Israeli attacks from air, land and sea. The displaced Gazans took refuge in schools belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. It was reported that the distribution of meals will continue until the end of Ramadan.

According to reports by TİKA, the agency had started to make contacts with officials on July 9 in TİKA's Gaza and Palestine office to determine the situation following the Israeli air strikes which started on July 8. Accordingly, it is stated that the developments are constantly watched while the agency's Gaza office is responsible for distributing food and humanitarian aid supplies. For instance, 15,000 families have received a food package containing basic necessities such as rice, sugar, flour, and oil in Rafah, Gaza and Khan Younis. Likewise, TİKA has delivered four generators to Gaza where infrastructure has been heavily struck by the attacks in the past years.

Besides these, TİKA has also been involved in water and sanitation projects to provide drinkable water to the people of Gaza. Accordingly, 15 wells have been built by the agency while 15 have been rehabilitated, 10 desalination units have been constructed along with the construction of rainwater collection networks and 14 generators have been delivered for the wells and water tanks. Besides these, a total of 30 km of water pipes have been installed and a six-km long sewer line was constructed, allowing over 900.000 people in Gaza to have access to clean water. In addition to these, seven water wells are still under construction.

Other projects carried out by TİKA in Gaza include education initiatives, orphanages, health projects, rehabilitation of those disabled by the war, support for administrational infrastructure, restoration projects and agricultural projects.
The agency has been involved in repairing two universities and laboratories within these universities, as well as provisioning of necessary equipment and the establishment of libraries.

Three orphanages have been constructed in Gaza while hospitals have received medical equipment and five ambulances. A 150 bed capacitiy Palestinian-Turkish Friendship Hospital is expected to be completed soon and will be the largest hospital in Gaza.
Likewise, around 100 people who have been wounded as a result of Israeli attacks were brought to Turkey to receive medical treatment while 400 people who were disabled by the war have been rehabilitated.

Agricultural projects have also been supported in efforts to rehabilitate the farmland in Gaza which has largely been destructed by Israeli attacks.

Turkey has increased its Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 30 percent in the last decade to reach more people in need throughout the world. Beginning with emergency aid, Turkey also advanced its aid activities from basic-needs projects to the preservation of cultural assets and developmental assistance. TİKA conducts leading projects around the world and aims to respond to the urgent needs of those struck by war in Gaza.

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