Charities in Turkey are set to launch a large-scale aid campaign for war-torn Yemen where a hunger crisis threatens the population.
Some 14 million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen, which lapsed into conflict in 2014 when Houthi rebels overran the country. Aid agencies say civilians bore the brunt of the conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people and has sparked one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
Dr. Muhammad al-Soudi, president of Sana'a University in Yemen who also serves as a high-ranking official in his country's humanitarian aid ministry, visited Turkey yesterday to speak about the humanitarian aid his country needs.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with Turkish officials in the southern city of Gaziantep yesterday, al-Soudi said Yemen has undergone a crisis in many fields, particularly in the health sector. "I am here in Turkey to tell people about the humanitarian drama in Yemen. Our population is 27 million, and 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Some 4 million Yemenis are displaced. One child dies every 10 minutes because they don't have access to enough food. People need everything, but our priority is food, water, medicine and clothes. I believe the Turkish people will not abandon the Yemeni people," he said.
Mustafa Bulut, head of Yedi Başak, a charity that spearheads the campaign, said Turkey couldn't remain silent in the face of the drama in Yemen. He said the campaign aims to make Turkish people aware of the "cry" of the Yemeni people.
Turkish institutions and nongovernmental organizations, such as the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the Turkish Red Crescent and the Turkish Diyanet Foundation, continue to provide humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. The Red Crescent opened a small hospital in Aden last year and sent a vessel carrying TL 20 million ($5.2 million) worth of humanitarian aid to Yemen.