Ankara, October 3 (IANS) Turkey has sent aid convoys to Afghanistan, where around 18.5 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, said Kerem Kinik, president of the Turkish Red Crescent.
Turkey’s last convoy, carrying 33 tons of food, left the Pakistan route on Saturday to deliver food to 16,000 Afghans living in different parts of the country, Kinik, who is also the vice-president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Xinhua news agency said.
Kinik noted that a new “authority” had been appointed to head the Afghan Red Crescent Society after the Taliban took power, and that Turkey could channel humanitarian aid anywhere in Afghanistan without encountering any problems. .
In cooperation with Pakistani and Afghan Red Crescent Societies, Turkey provided around 3 tons of food aid to 800 families in need in August and 4 tons of food to 800 other families in early September, he said. .
The Turkish Red Crescent has run a long-standing program that promotes the return of Afghan migrants to their countries of origin by providing several funds.
“Supporting Afghan citizens, who are returning voluntarily from Turkey to Afghanistan, with livelihood improvement projects in their country has significantly reduced illegal immigration,” he said.
With the cooperation of their Afghan counterparts, the Turkish aid institution provided funds for immigrants to operate their own shops suited to their professions, such as bakeries, grocery stores and hairdressers.
“We started this program in 2018 and since then we have opened 63 stores at a cost of approximately $ 250,000. This year we plan to open another 50 stores for almost $ 150,000,” Kinik told Xinhua.
Turkey faces an influx of Afghan refugees fleeing unrest in their homeland since the withdrawal of US forces.
Officials say around 400,000 Afghan refugees live in Turkey, a key transit point for asylum seekers en route to Europe.
Kinik also announced that his institution plans to launch a “global” campaign in the coming period to send more humanitarian aid to Afghanistan with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the United Nations.
“It will be a model that both alleviates human suffering in the region and builds confidence to reconnect Afghanistan to the international system,” he noted.
The Turkish Red Crescent Society has been operational in Afghanistan since 2018 with a head office in its capital, Kabul.