The Turkish Red Crescent, known as Kızılay, has sent nearly 2.5 billion Turkish liras ($710 million) of aid material to Syria, the humanitarian organization's president Kerem Kınık said Sunday.
"Around 40,000 truckloads of aid material have reached millions of Syrians struggling for their lives under the shadow of conflict," Kınık said at an iftar, fast-breaking meal, celebrating the 149th anniversary of the organization's establishment.
The Turkish Red Crescent also distributes aid to three million Syrian refugees in Turkey and over six million people inside Syria, according to Kınık.
As part of a social orientation program, it also offers 820,000 Syrian people in Turkey regular financial support through Kızılay debit cards, which allow them to purchase essential goods.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hailed the organization for its humanitarian efforts.
"During the 15 years of my prime ministry and presidency, together with the Turkish Red Crescent we have been able to achieve a lot, and we are striving to go even further. Whatever it is, the eyes of people in distress first look for a Red Crescent emblem, because people know very well that if there is this emblem, the Turkish Red Crescent is there," Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan added that the presence of the Turkish Red Crescent meant that there were people who would provide food and shelter to those in need. The Turkish president also said that whenever there was a patient who needed a blood transfusion the Turkish Red Crescent would be called.
Turkey hosts over three million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. It has spent $25 billion in sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011, when Bashar al-Assad's regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected force.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.
The Turkish Red Crescent is the largest humanitarian organization in Turkey and is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
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