UPDATES WITH MORE COUNTRIES GETTIGN AID, CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE
By Tevfik Durul, Sanela Crnovrsanin, Lejla Biogradlija, Nazir Aliyev Tayfur, and Ruslan Rehimov
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s state-run aid agency on Tuesday sent aid and medical supplies to countries around the world to help in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, according to agency statements.
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) aid packages, medical supplies, and personal care materials were distributed to such far-flung countries as Peru, Pakistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Romania, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Algeria.
In cooperation with the Peruvian International Cooperation Agency (APCI), TIKA sent medical supplies to the Regional Hospital of Tumbes.
In a statement, TIKA said Peru's Foreign Minister Gustavo Meza-Cuadra and Tumbes Governor Wilmer Florentino Dios Benites attended a ceremony for handover of the medical supplies.
Speaking at the ceremony, Meza-Cuadra stressed the significance of cooperation while combating the outbreak and expressed his gratitude for Turkey’s support.
The medical supplies will help provide health care for the people of the region, especially patients in intensive care units.
In South America, Peru has the second-largest number of coronavirus cases with 68,000, second only to Brazil.
In Peru, to date 1,961 people have died from COVID-19.
TIKA also sent medical and hygienic supplies to Punjab, Pakistan to a hospital named after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It sent a total of 12,500 supply items including surgical masks, KN95 protective masks, COVID-19 test kits, and disinfectants to the hospital in Muzaffargarh.
Dr. Javed Irfan, the hospital's chief of medicine, expressed his gratitude for Turkey’s support.
The 400-bed hospital is among three major facilities treating coronavirus patients in the southern part of the province. It serves as a pandemic hospital.
As part of the fight against coronavirus as well as marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, TIKA also provided food and personal care items to 1,000 families in need in Bosnia Herzegovina.
Distribution of the aid packages started in the city of Bosanska Dubica through local aid agencies.
The agency also started to distribute food supply packages in Azerbaijan to reach 2,500 low-income families, and immigrants, martyrs’ families, and Meskhetian Turks.
TIKA also provided 7,000 packages of food and medical supplies to families in need affected by the outbreak in Kyrgyzstan.
In the last two months some 30 tons of food and personal care items have been distributed to 2,500 families, including 1,000 food and personal care packages distributed to mark Ramadan, according to a written statement by the agency.
At least 1,000 aid packages with food and personal care items were distributed by the agency to needy families in Mongolia as part of the fight against coronavirus and to mark Ramadan.
To support the fight against COVID-19, personal care items were added to the traditional Ramadan packages, the agency said in a statement.
TIKA also provided 12 tons of food to be distributed to families in need in Algeria as part of the fight against coronavirus.
After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.
The pandemic has killed over 290,000 peopke worldwide, with total infections of more than 4.2 million, with recoveries of some 1.48 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin and Merve Aydogan