Turkey's aid agency yesterday donated $40,000 worth of food aid to Uganda, a country currently facing acute food insecurity, especially in its north.
Speaking at the Turkish Embassy in the capital Kampala, Ambassador Sedef Yavuzalp said the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) will be distributing 32 tons of food aid - including maize, rice, beans, salt, oil, and sugar - to 1,325 families in the regions of Kitgum and Arua in northern Uganda.
Some 10.9 million people in the east African country are experiencing acute food insecurity, and 1.6 million of these are in a crisis situation. The worsening situation is blamed on the 2016 La Nina, as well as climate change, dry spells, and dwindling water resources and pastures. All these factors, said Yavuzalp, resulted in reduced crop and livestock production as well as the resurgence of crop and livestock pests and disease. "Decreased staple food stocks and increased food prices have unfortunately exacerbated the situation."
Yavuzalp pointed out that TİKA has been carrying out projects in Uganda since 2008 in areas such as animal husbandry, agriculture, education, irrigation, health, vocational training, and food, among others. As agreed upon during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Uganda last year, "We wish to open a TİKA coordination office in Kampala as soon as possible, thus allowing us to offer more assistance and implement more projects in Uganda," she added.
Ugandan Foreign Minister Okello Oryem thanked the ambassador for the generosity of the Turkish people through TİKA for the contribution. "In light of the hunger in the country, we are going to ensure that this food aid gets to the most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, and people living with HIV/AIDS."
Oryem also said his office is working on an agreement to allow TİKA to open local offices in Uganda. "The agreement is in its final stages and I hope that by the end of this month we will be in position to sign the agreement."
Between 2011 and 2015 Turkey donated over $1.5 billion to under-developed countries, according to Yavuzalp.
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