Ankara: Turkey has been sending aid convoys to Afghanistan where approximately 18.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, Kerem Kinik, president of the Turkish Red Crescent, said.
Turkey’s latest convoy, carrying 33 tonnes of food supply, set off the road from Pakistan on Saturday to deliver food for 16,000 Afghan people living in different parts of the country, Kinik, who is also the vice president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), told Xinhua news agency.
Kinik remarked that a new “authority” was appointed to the head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society after the Taliban seized power, and Turkey could deliver its humanitarian aid to everywhere in Afghanistan without facing any problems.
In cooperation with Pakistani and Afghan red crescent societies, Turkey delivered approximately 3 tonnes of food aid to 800 families in need in August, and 4 tonnes of food supplies to another 800 families early in September, he said.
The Turkish Red Crescent has been conducting a long-running program that promotes the return of Afghan migrants to their homeland by providing several funds.
“Supporting Afghan citizens, who return voluntarily from Turkey to Afghanistan, with livelihood improvement projects in their country has significantly reduced illegal immigration,” he stressed.
With the cooperation of their Afghan counterparts, the Turkish aid institution has been granting funding for the immigrants to run their own shops suitable to their professions, such as bakeries, grocery stores, and barbershops.
“We started this program in 2018, and since then, we has opened 63 stores with a cost of approximately $250,000. This year, we plan to open another 50 shops for nearly $150,000,” Kinik told Xinhua.
Turkey has been facing an influx of refugees from Afghanistan fleeing turmoil in their homeland since the withdrawal of American forces.
According to officials, an estimated 400,000 Afghan refugees are living in Turkey, a key transit point for asylum seekers on their way to Europe.
Kinik also announced that his institution plans to launch a “global” campaign in the upcoming period to send more humanitarian aid to Afghanistan together with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the United Nations.
“This will be a model that will both relieve the human suffering in the region and build trust to reconnect Afghanistan with the international system,” he noted.
The Turkish Red Crescent Society has been operational in Afghanistan since 2018 with a head office in its capital city of Kabul.