Turkey, Qatar launch joint aid campaign in Somalia

Turkey and Qatar have launched a joint aid campaign for residents in Somalia's Hiran province, which has been heavily damaged by floods and fighting.

Turkey's Ambassador to Somalia Olgan Bekar said at the launch of the campaign Wednesday that the humanitarian campaign aimed to ease pain of communities suffering from tribal fighting and heavy floods in Beledweyne, the capital of south-central Hiran.

Hasan bin Hamza Asad Mohamed, Qatar's ambassador to Somalia, said $2.75 million have been collected to aid the residents of Beledweyne for one year.

The Turkish Red Crescent and the Qatar Charity will conduct and finance the effort that will provide staples such as milk, sugar, rice and olives for about 3,000 locals.

The Somali government and authorities in Beledweyne have urged international charity organizations to provide immediate humanitarian aid.

Governor Yusuf Ahmed Hagar Dabageed of the Hiran region thanked Turkey and Qatar for the assistance but emphasized the urgent need for medical supplies to help deal with epidemics after water shortages.

Last month, Turkey sent 11,000 tons of aid to Somalia, which is becoming more stable but is still largely underdeveloped and faces ongoing violence from the al-Shabaab militant group.

Since 2011, Turkey has made a concentrated effort to provide basic needs, including security, education, health, institutional capacity building, the building of state institutions, roads, ports, airports, fisheries and energy.

More than 40 percent of Somalia's population remains in need of humanitarian aid, according to the Turkish presidency.

An estimated 857,000 Somalis are currently "in crisis and emergency conditions", while nearly 2 million suffer from food insecurity.

Approximately 1 million more are refugees in neighboring countries, according to the UN.

Source: Anadolu Agency