The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) on Saturday delivered nearly 2,000 food parcels to employees of Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport in the Afghan capital.
A ceremony was held at the airport on Saturday attended by Turkish Ambassador to Kabul Cihad Erginay, airport director Abdul Hadi Hamdan, acting deputy transport ministers of the Taliban administration and officials from the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Crescent Red Bureau in Kabul.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erginay said that to date Turkey had distributed some 5,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid across Afghanistan.
The aid materials were transported by four “kindness trains” sent from Turkey under the coordination of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he said. added.
Adding that Turkish institutions will continue to help the Afghan people, Erginay said, “It is also important that this aid is delivered here, as Kabul International Airport is a hub that connects Afghanistan to the world.”
Director of Hamdan Airport thanked Turkey and its institutions for their continued help.
The first “kindness train” carrying humanitarian aid arrived in Afghanistan on February 7 while the fourth, carrying 1,478 tonnes of aid, arrived on April 18 and is still being delivered to 34 provinces in Afghanistan.
Aid groups describe the plight of Afghanistan as one of the fastest growing humanitarian crises in the world. According to the United Nations, half of the population today faces acute hunger, more than 9 million people have been displaced and millions of children are out of school.
Earlier, the UN and its partners appealed for $4.4 billion to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan in 2022. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also warned that millions of Afghans are on the verge of death, urging the international community to liberate Afghanistan. frozen assets and relaunch its banking system.
The Turkish government has taken a pragmatic approach to events in Afghanistan, including the emergence of the Taliban after the chaotic withdrawal of US forces. Stressing that new realities have emerged in the country, Ankara said it would move forward accordingly while keeping communication open with all relevant leaders.
NATO member Turkey maintained its embassy in Afghanistan after Western countries withdrew following the Taliban takeover and urged those countries to step up their engagement. At the same time, he said he would only work fully with the Taliban if they formed a more inclusive administration.
In addition, Turkey has worked with Qatar to maintain operations at Kabul International Airport, while holding talks to operate this airport and others if its security conditions are met.
Kabul’s only airport was ransacked in August as tens of thousands of people rushed to evacuate on any available flight as the United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.
Although the facility is open, with some domestic and international flights operating, it still needs a major upgrade for major foreign airlines to resume full service.