UPDATE – Turkish aid agency helps families in Rwanda


By James Tasamba and Gokhan Kavak

KIGALI, Rwanda/ISTANBUL (AA) – The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on Wednesday delivered aid packages for needy families in Rwanda.

According to a statement by Turkey's Embassy in Kigali, a total of 1,000 families benefited from the assistance of TIKA.

Food packages were handed over and hygiene items essential amid the COVID-19 pandemic were given to the people.

TIKA's COVID-19 relief packages, worth $30,000 and comprising foodstuff and hygienic materials, were handed to Rwanda Muslim Community on Wednesday in the Kamonyi district south of the capital Kigali.

This year TIKA is organizing Ramadan programs in different countries, including Rwanda.

Turkish Ambassador to Rwanda Burcu Cevik handed the donation, to benefit some 800 families, to Sheik Salim Hitimana, the Mufti of Rwanda for distribution.

“Ramadan is the month of sharing,” Cevik said in a statement.

She added that fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing struggle requiring more solidarity than ever.

During these difficult times, Turkey remains in solidarity with the people of Rwanda, and taking the opportunity of Ramadan wanted to reach out to disadvantaged families, she said.

“There is a strong culture of sharing in Anatolia. This becomes more prominent during the month of Ramadan.”

The main theme of Ramadan programs of TIKA this year is “Erenler Sofrası” (Saints Table) taking its inspiration from Anatolian saints and dervishes.

Sheik Hitimana thanked Turkey for the donation, expressing his desire to maintain cooperation in different areas.

Earlier in April, a Turkish NGO “Tut Elimi” delivered a grant of $23,000 COVID-19 assistance to Rwanda Biomedical Center consisting of 100,000 surgical masks, 5,000 N95 masks, 4,000 protective gowns, and 1,500 COVID-19 test kits.

Another Turkish NGO “Hasene” has given Ramadan aid consisting of food and clothing relief items worth 40,000 Euros to the Rwanda Muslim Community for 1,400 families.