Turkish aid agencies plan to reach millions of people across the world with food aid during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Families in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans will enjoy iftar, or fast-breaking, meals from the start of Ramadan on Saturday.
The Turkish Red Crescent aims to reach 20,000 families over the month and will concentrate its iftar tents in the northern Syrian province of Idlib and Gaza in Palestine.
Ships loaded with over 60,000 tons of humanitarian aid will head to countries hit by famine such as South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen.
Iftar meals will be provided by the İyilikder charity in 15 countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Niger and Palestine.
The Sadakatasi Foundation and the Cansuyu Charity and Solidarity Organization will also provide iftar meals for refugees around the globe.
Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kinik held a press conference about the charity’s Ramadan campaign Wednesday. Kinik said their motto was “Share Ramadan Under The Crescent,” and they would reach out to people in 19 countries. “We will deliver food aid packages to hundreds of thousands of people. Donors can buy a package for TL 75 ($19) for each needy family, and each package is sufficient for the food needs of a family for a month,” he said. Kinik said they would focus on Africa for which they already started a campaign to deliver food to 10 million people.
The Red Crescent will also send ships full of aid to South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen in Ramadan. Carrying about 15,000 tons of aid, the ships will deliver monthly food for about 3 million people in each of the three countries. The charity will also send food to people affected by drought in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Turkish aid has become a lifeline for people in Somalia with aid organizations like the Turkish Red Crescent and the Turkey Diyanet Foundation (TDV) reaching out to those suffering from the consequences of civil war and a severe drought that affected as many as 6 million out of the total population of 12 million.
Since 2011, the Turkish Red Crescent has been operating in the region and distributing humanitarian assistance by sea and air. The organization also established a refugee camp for 30,000 displaced people in addition to founding mobile bakeries and kitchens. Last March alone, it supplied 1 ton of baby food and kitchen supplies to the region. Somalia has been suffering from drought since 2011 in addition to decades of civil war and the breakdown of the central government.
In Turkey, the charity will continue its regular aid to Syrian refugees. Some 500,000 refugees who took shelter in Turkey have benefited from aid so far, and the Red Crescent also reached out to about 4.5 million people internally displaced in Syria. The charity hands out pre-paid cards to refugees that enable them to buy food and other basic needs from grocery stores.
Turkey is home to some 3 million refugees, hosting the largest refugee community from Syria.
Ramadan is an Islamic month of giving, and wealthy, local administrations and nongovernmental organizations in Muslim-majority countries often spearhead aid campaigns for the poor during the month. “Fitr “or “zakat al-fitr “is a lesser form of “zakat” – obligatory charity given to the poor by every Muslim who can afford it – on the holiday at the end of the month.
Source: Daily Sabah