Turkey supports Somaliland in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic

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Turkey provided 2,400 liters of antiseptics, 4,800 liters of bleach and 1,280 liters of disinfectants to Somaliland's Health Ministry, Thursday, April 16, 2020. (AA)
Turkey provided 2,400 liters of antiseptics, 4,800 liters of bleach and 1,280 liters of disinfectants to Somaliland's Health Ministry, Thursday, April 16, 2020. (AA)

By:DAILY SABAH

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) provided Somaliland cleaning and hygiene equipment to be used in 12 state hospitals and six temporary hospitals on Thursday, as Turkey continues to support countries across the world in the fight against the coronavirus.

Struggling to bring the pandemic under control, the Somaliland government was in immediate need of hygiene equipment to be used in hospitals. In order to support the country, Turkey provided 2,400 liters of antiseptics, 4,800 liters of bleach and 1,280 liters of disinfectants to Somaliland’s Health Ministry.

Speaking at the delivery ceremony of the equipment, the country’s Health Minister Dr. Omar Ali Abdillahi thanked Turkey for showing support in such a difficult time, adding that this equipment will help them overcome the virus.

Turkey’s consul general in the capital province of Hargeisa, Ali Noyan Coşkun, expressed that Turkey is there for the people of Somaliland and will continue its support as much as possible.

I wish for the (Somaliland) health ministry to defeat coronavirus and be successful against it, Coşkun expressed.

The virus has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in China last December, with the U.S. and Europe being the world’s hardest-hit areas.

Over 2 million cases have now been reported worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 137,000 and more than half a million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.

Turkey, as a country that has made a name for itself in the last decade due to its humanitarian efforts, has already gained prominence by sending medical aid packages to many countries across the world.

So far, we have delivered medical equipment to 34 countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday during a news conference following a Cabinet meeting in Istanbul. We will continue our support (to other countries) in the upcoming days as well, he said.

Erdoğan’s speech was an evaluation of the past month, during which Turkey has received aid requests from more than 90 countries. Managing to deliver medical equipment to 34 of them so far, the country has provided consultancy to many others, aiming to share its resources and experiences with the world in a period of crisis. Turkey’s aid packages mostly include medical masks, protective overalls and gloves, as well as disinfectants. All equipment was produced at military-owned factories and at sewing workshops that produce military uniforms and other clothing for the army.

TİKA, which has been Turkey’s flagship international development aid agency since its inception, is known for extending a helping hand to countries on every continent with a diverse array of projects, from vocational training to supporting agriculture, health services and infrastructure. It represents a significant arm of Turkey’s multilayered humanitarian foreign policy and showcases the country’s solidarity with countries it previously maintained low-profile ties with.

Since the pandemic began, Turkey has provided medical support to Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Serbia, Somalia, Spain, Tunisia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the U.K, the U.S., Yemen, and the Rohingya Muslims.

Europe, as the epicenter of the pandemic, has become the continent that receives the most aid. Last week, two Turkish cargo planes landed in London to provide supplies to the U.K., followed by a set of deliveries to Italy and Spain, two of the worst-hit countries in both the continent and the world. Turkey received much gratitude from both European people and their leaders, as it filled a supply void in their struggle against the pandemic.

Turkey has a long tradition of sending humanitarian aid to countries facing difficulties, even for those it has tense diplomatic relations with. For instance, in 1938, only a decade after the country’s foundation following a bloody war, Turkey sent medicine to China amid the outbreak of cholera in far-east Asia. Similarly, in 1941, Turkey sent medicine to the Greek army upon the request of Greece, a country that fought against Turkey during the liberation war. Similar aid has been provided to many other countries over the years, including Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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