The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has provided South Sudan sewing machines and cloth for making masks to help it respond better to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 30 sewing machines and 1,000-meter cloth roll will help in the production of about 15,000 face masks, the Turkish ambassador to South Sudan said while handing them over to the Ministry of Labor in the capital Juba on Thursday.
"We are ready to support South Sudan whenever needed,” Tuğrul Biltekin said.
"We are working closely with the South Sudanese government, and have divided our aid into five phases. This is the last phase, to provide masks,” he said, noting that the endeavor will provide job opportunities, especially to women, who will be running the machines.
Since the start of the outbreak in the African nation, Turkey has been at the forefront in providing assistance, the envoy said, adding that 10,000 families in Juba and the Western Bahr el Ghazal city of Wau have received food from Ankara."TIKA is doing development work. If there are projects that need our support, we are ready to help,” Biltekin said.
The assistance was received by the Minister of Labor James Hoth Mai, who appreciated the Turkish government's gesture of goodwill. "This donation is going to help the South Sudanese in fighting the pandemic, as well as create employment opportunities,” he said.
South Sudan has 2,494 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 47 deaths since April, according to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics.
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