Turkiye, World, Asia - Pacific

Turkey donates emergency food for 3,000 Bangladeshis

Turkish government, foundations provide food, hygiene products for low-income people in capital city amid COVID-19 outbreak

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 23.04.2020
Turkey donates emergency food for 3,000 Bangladeshis

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Turkey on Thursday donated emergency food aid for 3,000 poor households in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka on the eve of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"We stand by our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, who are the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences," said Mustafa Osman Turan, Turkish Ambassador in Bangladesh, in an address to the recipient families at a ceremony.

The South Asian nation of more than 165 million has so far reported 127 deaths from COVID-19 so far, with 4,186 confirmed cases and 108 recoveries.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Turkish Red Crescent and Turkiye Diyanet Foundation donated the items on behalf of the Turkish government.

The food items include rice, cooking oil and antiseptic soap.

At the ceremony, Turan said: "Today's food assistance before the start of the holy month of Ramadan should be considered as a token of the deep-rooted close ties between our countries."

Referring to the Turkish National Sovereignty and Children's Day that also marks the centenary of the establishment of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, he added: "We believe that our future belongs to our children and we should do our utmost to prepare a better future for them."

Out of the 3,000 food packages, at least one-third will go to feed the children of poor families, as well as homeless children and those with special needs, he added.

TIKA Bangladesh Coordinator Ismail Gundogdu said the organization had been working in Bangladesh since 2014.

"TIKA has been carrying out many activities, not only in Rohingya camps but also in different regions of Bangladesh," he said.

Gundogdu noted that the food aid was a sign of friendly ties between Turkey and Bangladesh, adding: "We are also planning to provide medical equipment to the [Bangladesh] Ministry of Health as part of TIKA's support to fight against COVID-19."

To stem the spread of the virus, Bangladesh has been observing a nationwide lockdown since March 26 that will continue till May 5. A total of 35,989 tests have been conducted since the first coronavirus case reported in the country on March 8.

The country has already declared various assistance schemes and launched an affordable food distribution initiative for low-income households amid the lockdown.

Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam received the Turkish donations on behalf of Bangladesh.

He expressed his gratitude to Turkey for its long-time assistance to Bangladesh in different fields.

"I hope the bilateral ties between our two brotherly countries will be strengthened through such welfare activities of Turkey," Islam said.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 185 countries and regions worldwide, with Europe and the U.S. the worst-hit regions.

Worldwide cases have exceeded 2.63 million with more than 183,000 coronavirus-related deaths. Over 715,000 have recovered from the virus, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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