Turkish agencies to aid cyclone-hit countries in Africa

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Turkish agencies to aid cyclone-hit countries in Africa

MAPUTO, Mozambique

The Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) sent 15 tons of aid to Mozambique, the agency official told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

The aid consisting of food and cleaning materials, along with items from other relief agencies was sent in containers in a sea shipment to Beira, the area hardest hit by the Cyclone Idai, according to Recep Bora Atlihan, Kizilay's official in the capital Maputo.

"We are planning to send 15 tons of humanitarian aid, fast consuming food and cleaning supplies," in an initial shipment that is expected to reach the Beira port by Monday, Atlihan said.

Atlihan also said that Kizilay's aid activities have been quick in the region.

"We are trying to reach a helping hand from our country to the people in need as fast as possible and we hope to be successful," he said.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) also sent hygiene and food packages to Beira that will help 600 families for 10 days.

TIKA works to relieve the pain of the people, the agency's Maputo program coordinator Omer Faruk Mergen told Anadolu Agency, adding that the aid packages will be delivered on the first ship leaving from Mozambique’s capital.

Noting that the distribution of aid will be organized by the TIKA team, Mergen said that: "It is not possible to get to Beira by land route."

Idai caused massive damage across southern Africa five days after making landfall in Mozambique, creating a major humanitarian emergency, according to the UN.

The UN said as of Friday, at least 242 people were confirmed dead following the cyclone, and many areas still remain inundated. But Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said he believes the death toll could reach at least 1,000.

Many areas in Mozambique remain without electricity, and almost all networks have been severely damaged, according to the UN.