Deputy President of Turkish disaster management body tells about Turkiye’s overall contribution

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Thousands of food parcels, medicines, relief items provided much-needed relief to flood-affected communities

Zubair Qureshi

Turkiye is the first country to dispatch a humanitarian aid plane on August 28, 2022 to Pakistan immediately after the flash floods and rains wreaked havoc in the country.

Since then, a total of about 227 tons of humanitarian aid (mostly medical products) materials have been transported on 15 planes shipped from Turkiye so far.

Deputy President of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Mr Onder Bozkurt while giving an overview of the humanitarian and relief activities by the Turkish volunteers, rescuers and medics in the flood-affected areas.

The media briefing was held at the Turkish embassy and Ambassador of Turkiye Dr Mehmet Pacaci, senior staff members of the Embassy and the AFAD team were also present on the occasion.

Türkiye’s state-run disaster and management agency has already set up a temporary housing facility in Sindh for the victims of recent super floods.

Named after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tent city has been set up by AFAD in collaboration with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Baitussalam Trust in Bholari, Jamshoro District, Sindh.

While briefing the media with the help of slides, and graphics Onder Bozkurt said the scale and intensity of the disaster is so severe that it might take years for the things to return to normalcy.

The AFAD team is making all possible efforts to provide relief to the local community, he said adding Pakistan and Turkiye have witnessed in the past serious natural disasters and the Turkish rescuers have the experience and expertise of handling the post-disaster situation.

In order to send humanitarian aid to the region, Goodness Train Expeditions were established in cooperation with the Türkiye Ministry of Transport, said Onder Bozkurt adding an Air Bridge was established in cooperation with the Türkiye Ministry of National Defense.

In addition, preparations are underway for the Pakistan Goodness Ship expedition, which will depart from Türkiye, he said adding, besides these “aid bridges” AFAD Presidency personnel took charge as of August in order to coordinate the works in Pakistan and to ensure the process of receiving humanitarian aid from the local.

As of October 19, a total of 15 planes carrying aid, 13 Goodness Train Expeditions and Local Supply to the region; 35,152 family tents; 467,227 food parcels and cleaning materials (7,000 through plane, 408,847 train, 51,380 local) 2.826.468 units of medical supplies 53.466 blankets, mattresses, pillows, etc. 6.555 kitchen kits; 34,219 units of clothing and carpet; 2 mobile health units and camps; 50 motorboats were sent.

About the goodness train he said under the coordination of AFAD Presidency, together with our 22 NGOs, a total of 334 wagons on 13 goodness trains, consisting of tents and humanitarian aid materials, started on August 30, 2022. In addition, the AFAD donation includes 7.222 tons of aid materials (408,847 food and hygiene packages) were sent to Pakistan.

A total of 77 personnel (19 AFAD personnel, 3 Health teams and 53 NGO representatives, 2 Academicians) have worked in Pakistan so far to coordinate the distribution of aid materials sent to the region by our Presidency and to assist in the establishment of tent cities, he summed up.

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