ANKARA 

A Turkish state agency has extended a helping hand to over 165,000 Turkish people in 14 countries amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a written statement, Turkey’s Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) said the agency does not leave Turkish expats alone during the pandemic that claimed thousands of lives worldwide.

It reached out to families in need all over the world through its support and cooperation program, it added.

In this context, the YTB aided a total of 165,549 Turkish nationals living in 14 countries. The aid included good packages, support for rent, electricity and gas bills, and personal care items.

The agency also gave financial support for the production of masks and protective equipment, as well as its training, and creating media contents.

The YTB also provided people under lockdown imposed by governments to stem the spread of the virus with food materials.

– 63 projects supported, 76,600 masks produced

As part of the program, the agency also supported 63 projects, while also contributing to fight against the virus in countries that have difficulty in reaching hygiene kits.

Without aiming any profit, the YTB donated masks, protective face sprays, and disinfectants. It also supported the production of 6,150 gloves-aprons and 76,600 masks and their distribution to relevant health institutions and vulnerable people.

– 24,300 iftar meals, 10,047 parcels of food and hygiene kit

In countries where curfews lasted for months, the agency met the basic food needs of the Turkish expats. It also prepared food boxes for iftar and suhoor meals with the arrival of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslim people fast.

Iftar is the meal eaten in the evening to breakfasting and suhoor is the meal consumed before fasting begins at dawn.

With the contributions of Turkish expats and Turkish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) abroad, 10,047 parcels of food and hygiene kit were delivered to families in need, while 24,300 iftar meals were given.

In a move to keep up the spirits, the YTB also supported visits by Turkish NGOs to health workers, police officers, and firefighters and provided gifts for them.

Some 9,000 gifts were also presented to the elderly living alone or at care houses.

The aids provided as part of the support program took place in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Finland.

* Writing by Sena Guler

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