By Cemil Murat Budak
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish aid agencies launched a new humanitarian campaign to help war-torn and drought-hit countries such as Yemen and South Sudan on Friday.
The Turkish Red Crescent said a number of NGOs had united under a new campaign to “open a sea and air corridor” to areas facing drought.
President of the Turkish Red Crescent, Kerem Kinik, said humanitarian crises in regions such as East Africa would not be overcome without strong aid activity.
According to Kinik, between 40-to-50 million people were facing big crises due to global warming and armed conflicts.
“The quality and quantity of international aid was not sufficient to overcome these crises,” he said.
He said in Yemen alone around 21 million people were affected because of ongoing fighting, with most of these individuals in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
“Unfortunately, due to drinking water and food shortages, every 10 minutes a Yemeni baby dies,” Kinik said.
Yemen fell into civil war in 2014, when Houthi rebels and the allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh overran the capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.
-Somalia aid delivery
Meanwhile, the Turkish Red Crescent delivered one ton of humanitarian aid to Mogadishu, Somalia on Friday.
Turkish ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar, said the Red Crescent and other aid organizations from Turkey would play a leading role in the fight against famine.
Bekar added that Turkey and its agencies would urgently deliver aid to the region.
Mehmet Gulluoglu, the Red Crescent’s director general, said the delivery was only a small part of their campaign in Somalia.
Gulluoglu added that Turkey was in cooperation with government agencies as well as the Somalia National Drought Committee to identify the most affected areas.
Noting Turkey’s aid role during the 2011 Somalia famine, Gulluoglu said Turkey would intensify its efforts to prevent the situation from turning into a humanitarian crisis.
A member of the Somalia National Drought Committee, Sheikh Nur Barud Gurhan, thanked Turkey for its help.
According to the UN, more than 20 million people are on the brink of starvation in East Africa, including around 1.4 million children.
Turkey’s flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, announced earlier this week it would send 60 tons of humanitarian aid worth $2 million to Somalia.
*Anadolu Agency correspondents Murat Tan and Nour Gelle Gedi contributed to this story from Somalia.