BY ANADOLU AGENCY
ANKARA JAN 19, 2022 – 11:14 PM GMT+3President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 19, 2022 (DHA Photo)
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that Turkey will send a “train of kindness” to Afghanistan carrying humanitarian aid.
Speaking after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said the train, carrying 700 tons of food, clothing, and health and emergency goods, would be sent to the struggling country with the support of 10 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) under the coordination of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
Aid agencies describe Afghanistan’s plight as one of the world’s most rapidly growing humanitarian crises.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), half the population now faces acute hunger, over 9 million people have been displaced and millions of children are out of school.
Last week, the U.N. and its partners launched a $4.4 billion (TL 59 billion) funding appeal to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan in 2022.
U.N. chief Antonio Guterres has warned that millions of Afghans are on the verge of death, urging the international community to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets and jump-start its banking system.
Erdoğan also commented on the situation in Turkey, saying there would be a “very different picture” of the country next year. He vowed to continue pursuing goals for a stronger future.
Commenting on his recent annual meeting with European Union envoys, Erdoğan said they assessed the past and current state of ties between Turkey and the bloc, discussed points of impasse and proposed ways to resolve them.
Mentioning the recently announced system to protect Turkish lira deposit accounts from foreign exchange fluctuations, he noted that deposits had reached TL 163 billion ($12.16 billion).
In December, the U.S. dollar to lira exchange rate neared 20. But after the new system was announced, the lira gained significant value with a substantial decline in domestic interest in foreign currency.
Turkey also seeks to persuade people to put their gold into the financial system, the president added.
He said with the support of the country’s Credit Guarantee Fund, preparations are near completion for a package designed to provide employment protection and develop priority loans.
“We ask for your support to make Turkey a place where everyone does their work and holds their savings in Turkish liras,” he added.