Representatives of the Turkish Red Crescent and other Turkey-based charities were in Yemen on Friday to deliver humanitarian aid work to the war-torn country.
The Red Crescent's President Kerem Kınık met Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Saeed al-Khanbashi to discuss the aid and said the Turkish nation and state are "mobilized" to help Yemen.
Embattled with famine amid an ongoing conflict, Yemen depends on humanitarian aid from abroad. As part of a nationwide aid campaign, Turkish charities collected more than TL 20 million ($3.77 million) in donations for Yemen. The Turkish Red Crescent, state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) spearheaded the campaign "Give Hope to Yemen."
Speaking after his meeting with Yemeni deputy prime minister in Aden, Kınık said about 15 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid in Yemen and Turkey, "both the state and the nation are mobilized to find ways to help Yemen." Kınık said Turkey was friends of the people of Yemen and believed the country would overcome the tough days it is going through.
"This is one of the worst crises in the world and we are aware that our Yemeni brothers and sisters would not be able to overcome this crisis without our support. It is our duty to help them," Kınık said.
He said they prioritized food and medicine aid for Yemen. "There have been problems in transportation of humanitarian aid due to conflict but we are confident that we can deliver it to the needy," he said. Kınık added that they were in contact both with Yemeni businesspeople in Turkey and International Red Cross to deliver the aid.
The Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, has been at war with the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since 2015. United Nations officials say the war has caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with millions suffering from severe hunger.
Turkey, which holds the rotating presidency of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) supports the U.N. efforts to establish peace and stability in Yemen.
The country already donated humanitarian aid worth $11.7 million to Yemen between 2015 and 2018 and transferred $1 million in cash to UNICEF for use in humanitarian aid in the war-torn country.