The Turkish Red Crescent, a leading humanitarian aid organization especially known for its work in disaster zones around the world, is preparing to open an office in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The office will oversee better coordination with the Afghan Red Crescent in particular.
Turkish Red Crescent Deputy President Naci Yılmaz was in Kabul this week to sign a goodwill protocol with the Afghan Red Crescent. Speaking after the signing ceremony, Afghan Red Crescent President Fatima Gailani said they were pleased to have their counterpart's presence in Afghanistan, and their relations based on friendship "rather than interests" would gain new momentum with the protocol to open an office in Kabul. "The experience and clout of the Turkish Red Crescent will be a great source of support for us," Gailani said.
Yılmaz said the office will provide more efficient coordination in case of a disaster or emergency in Afghanistan. During the Turkish delegation's visit, they also pledged aid to a facility in Kabul for orphans and mentally disabled women.
The Turkish Red Crescent was among major aid agencies rushing to help Afghan survivors after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit the country last year. The Red Crescent was also among the first responders after a flood that affected five Afghan provinces in 2014 and delivered humanitarian aid to 1,400 families.
The Red Crescent has been instrumental in providing aid to natural and man-made disaster zones in 78 countries in the past decade and mainly offers accommodation and food aid to the needy across the world. The decision to open an office in Kabul comes weeks after an Afghan Red Crescent delegation visited Turkey for a workshop on the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit, which will be held in Istanbul, where officials from both institutions pledged to boost cooperation. The World Humanitarian Summit will bring together world leaders to discuss practical ways to boost humanitarian aid and its delivery. Afghanistan is among countries in constant need of humanitarian aid as it struggles to endure violence by the Taliban and a devastated economy mostly dependent on aid after the war. The country's northern regions are often prone to landslides and floods, and poor infrastructure increases casualties and damage caused by disasters.
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