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Turkish agency provides aid around globe amid COVID-19

Over 370,000 people from Palestine to Georgia, Colombia to Yemen receive aid from TIKA's efforts to stem pandemic

Zuhal Demirci  | 16.04.2020 - Update : 17.04.2020
Turkish agency provides aid around globe amid COVID-19


With its aid and support operations across the world, Turkey's state-run aid agency has become a major actor in the country's global efforts to stem the novel coronavirus pandemic.

More than 370,000 people from Azerbaijan to Yemen, Sudan to Bosnia and Herzegovina have benefited from the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TIKA) aid efforts against the outbreak, including its distribution of locally obtained masks and other medical supplies, in addition to its ongoing aid operations.

A cargo plane from Turkey to Wuhan, China sent to evacuate Turkish nationals on Jan. 30 carried medical equipment dispatched by TIKA to the city where the deadly coronavirus outbreak was first reported.

TIKA sent various medical supplies, including 1,000 biohazard suits, 93,500 protective filtered masks, and 1,000 disposable protective suits to be delivered to Chinese authorities.

TIKA-renovated hospital becomes center of fight against virus in Georgia

In Georgia, TIKA renovated the Batumi Infectious Diseases Hospital, increasing its capacity with donations from Turkey and re-opening on Nov. 22, 2019. The hospital has now become the country's headquarters of the fight against the pandemic.

The hospital has helped nearly 980,000 people, including those from neighboring provinces, since the first case was reported in the country on Feb. 26.

The Batumi Infectious Diseases Hospital is one of the three health centers providing COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment in Georgia. It is also the only health center providing care to the regions of Acara, Gurya and Samegrelo in the country's west.

TIKA also provides online training to public servants and media professionals in efforts to stem the outbreak.

Gaza hospital aims to be Palestinians' hope in fighting virus

The Palestine-Turkey Friendship Hospital in Gaza, equipped with modern medical devices, was handed over to Palestinian officials on March 26, under the instructions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Funded by TIKA, the 180-bed hospital began operating as part of efforts to curb the coronavirus.

The hospital's indoor area totals at 33,400 square meters (roughly 360,000 square feet), eight interconnected blocks, four operating rooms, intensive care units, and laboratories.

Additionally, Pakistan's Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital -- built and equipped by TIKA in 2014 -- is also an important center in the country's fight against COVID-19.

In Kyrgyzstan, the 72-bed Bishkek Kyrgyz-Turkish Friendship State Hospital, which was built by TIKA and recently fully equipped, will open partially as part of the fight against the outbreak.

Turkey-supplied 3D printers to combat pandemic in Colombia

Established by TIKA, the Casanare Chamber of Commerce of Colombia's Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Modeling Center produces protective shield masks to be distributed to healthcare workers in Colombia via Turkish-made 3D printers.

At least 16,000 shield masks -- first used at Orinoquia Regional Hospital (HORO) and Casanare clinics -- are planned for production.

At an education center in Sudan's capital Khartoum, TIKA began producing with 3D printers shield masks to be disturbed to healthcare workers across the country.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, TIKA aims to produce 50,000 shield masks under a project it backs. So far, 5,000 masks initially produced have been dispatched to medical centers in Zenica and Visoko.

Thus, TIKA has supported the production of 6,600 protective shield masks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Libya, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Uganda, Algeria, Sudan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, and Sri Lanka.

In Tunisia, the Turkish aid agency provided an urgently needed medical imaging system to a hospital treating COVID-19 patients.

TIKA provides COVID-19 training to healthcare workers in Yemen

Amid efforts to stem the outbreak in Yemen, TIKA has begun the training of 360 health workers from eight districts in the southern city of Aden.

TIKA also did not abandon disabled people and orphans in Guinea, sending 400 packages of hygiene and consumable products to them, their families, hospitals, and public institutions.

In Azerbaijan, the agency provided food and cleaning supplies to at least 2,000 families affected by the outbreak and who are over 65 years old or suffered from poverty.

Aid package sent to North Macedonia

TIKA is distributing 2,500 aid packages consisting of food, cleaning and hygiene materials in North Macedonia to help people against the coronavirus pandemic.

In collaboration with the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the country's Red Crescent Association, TIKA provided food packages, personal protection equipment, and hygiene supplies to the elderly, disabled, and those living in difficult conditions in the city of Chui.

In addition, 400 food packages, 1,000 protective masks, 1,000 protective gloves, 100 protective suits, 100 protective goggles, and 430 antiseptics were delivered to the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Association to be delivered to those in need in the country.

Food aid to 4,000 families in Iraq

Turkey continues its global fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in Iraq. Following the declaration of a curfew last month, TIKA has provided food aid to 4,000 families in Erbil and Kirkuk living in difficult conditions and who were unable to work.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan

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