Turkiye's 2nd 'charity train' sets off for Afghanistan with over 920 tons of aid

2022-02-11 20:13:48

45-wagon train to pass through Iran, Turkmenistan before reaching Afghanistan, says Turkish state railways head

Turkiye's 2nd 'charity train' sets off for Afghanistan with over 920 tons of aid
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A second "charity train" carrying 921 tons of emergency goods to Afghanistan under the coordination of Turkiye's government, departed from the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday.

Bound for a journey of 4,168 kilometers (3,590 miles), this shipment is carrying aid from 16 humanitarian organizations on its 45 wagons, coordinated by the state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

It will pass through Iran and Turkmenistan before arriving in Afghanistan with the vital delivery of relief materials, said Hasan Pezuk, head of Turkish State Railways (TCDD), attending the sendoff.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Catakli said Turkiye has been extending a helping hand to those in need from Myanmar to Afghanistan, Yemen, and other parts of the world.

"Thanks to our generous nation and intense efforts of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), we're going to continue helping Afghanistan," he added.

Enver Iskurt, deputy minister of transport and infrastructure, pointed to deep-rooted ties between the two countries, underlining that the Turkish and Afghan peoples were brothers and sisters.

For his part, AFAD head Yunus Sezer expressed his gratitude to the organizations and individuals that contributed to the aid.

"With this train, we're also sending the kindness and compassion of our people, based on our culture of (charitable) foundations and the enthusiasm and excitement of helping the oppressed wherever they are in the world," said Sezer.

'We will continue to help'

Speaking at the event on behalf of charity organizations, Hafiz Osman Sahin, an official from the Diyanet and Turkiye's Diyanet Foundation, said the world was going through a very difficult time marked by natural disasters, conflict, massacres, pandemics, hunger, and poverty.

"But we, as a nation, have always stood by the oppressed and the victims, and as a nation, we will continue to help," Sahin asserted.

Other humanitarian representatives were also among the attendees.

On Jan. 27, two trains with 47 wagons carrying 750 tons of aid left Ankara, reaching Afghanistan on Feb. 7.

According to UN humanitarian coordination office OCHA, half of Afghanistan's population now faces acute hunger, while over 9 million people have been displaced and millions of children are out of school.

The UN and its partners had previously launched a $4.4 billion funding appeal to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan in 2022.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also warned that millions of Afghans are on the verge of death, urging the international community to release the conflict-torn country's frozen assets and jump-start its banking system.

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