IHH to send first aid ship from Turkey to Somalia
The IHH is preparing to send the first emergency relief ship from Turkey to Somalia, which is going through the worst drought in 60 years. The vessel loaded with 3000 tons of foodstuffs and medical ma
Africa, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia 12.08.2011

Humanitarian aid campaigns were launched across the world after the drought in East Africa turned into a humanitarian tragedy. The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has been carrying out relief works since the early days when drought struck. The foundation is preparing a 3000-ton cargo vessel laden with foodstuffs and medical materials. The vessel will be dispatched to Somalia from Zeyport Port, Istanbul after loading works are completed. 

Ahead of the sailing of the “Gazze” vessel, which is to be the first aid ship from Turkey to Somalia, the IHH held a press conference at Zeyport Port. Speaking at the conference IHH chairman Bülent Yıldırım stressed the reason behind Somalia drought is Western colonialism. The people of the region were exploited and are now unable to make use of their own resources, Yıldırım said, the IHH is not only taking relief supplies to the region but also materializing long-term projects there. 

“In cooperation with our partner organization in Somalia, Zamzam Foundation, we are delivering aid not only to the border but also to every corner of Somalia. The cargo vessel will sail for Mersin Port on Sunday and will sail from there to Somalia after taking on additional supplies from the port.”

4000-ton cargo vessel scheduled for next week

Another cargo vessel of 4000 tons will be prepared this week, Yıldırım noted, “The vessel that is about to sail will stop by Gulf countries after delivering relief supplies to Somalia. Citizens of Gulf countries also contributed to purchasing the Gazze ship. Gulf countries have also been collecting aid supplies for Somalia. The Gazze ship will visit these countries to pick up collected supplies and take them to drought-hit regions.” 

“During the last drought 10 years ago people rushed to borders. We want permanent projects to be materialized. Even one percent of Somalia’s natural resources are enough to develop the country. Therefore, the Organization of the Islamic Conference in particular should take action to help Somalia become self-sufficient. We as the IHH opened vocational training centers for the people of the region, launched farming projects and are building schools and educational centers.”

Yıldırım thanked the organizations delivering aid to the region and added that the IHH would share its experience and projects of long years with these organizations. The IHH chairman said the people of Turkey were enthusiastically supporting Somalia and thanked the press over its interest in the issue.

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