LAHORE, Pakistan

The Turkish state-run aid agency will be starting almost 50 new projects in Pakistan in 2022 to help with the development of education, health, and agriculture.

Muhsin Balci, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TIKA) program coordinator for Pakistan, made the announcement for TIKA’s 30th anniversary.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many countries in Central Asia declared independence.

This led Turkiye to devote aid efforts to Turkic-speaking countries in Central Asia and helping the newly formed countries in various social, economic, and cultural endeavors.

To help meet that demand, TIKA was established in 1992.

“TIKA is now working in more than 150 countries and we have done more than 30,000 projects since our establishment in different countries. In these projects we share our knowledge and expertise in the field of education, health, and agriculture with countries from the Balkans to Africa, from the Middle East to Latin America,” said Balci, who came in early January to Islamabad, beginning official visits of projects.

He visited the digitization center for the preservation of rare books in a library founded by TIKA at Quaid e Azam University and also toured the Baitussalam Welfare Trust, where students showcased a performance with robots at the Blatu Hub Technology Lab that was established by TIKA in 2018.

“Pakistan is full of talent and it gives us immense pleasure to give technical support to our brother nation. Pakistan is no foreign country for us. This nation has supported us unconditionally, and our hearts beat for each other,” said Balci.

New projects for Pakistan in 2022

“We’re expanding our support from education to health and the agriculture sector,” Balci told Anadolu Agency.

“The departments and companies come to us for our technical support and we try our best to give the best of the best service. Our aim is to start more than 50 projects this year in Pakistan that will facilitate the organizations in fostering young talent.”

TIKA has also set up five water filtration plants in three cities to provide access to safe drinking water to residents.

“Along with our student exchange program and other projects, TIKA is also focused on uplifting the lives of people. Our water filtration plants are another project for our Pakistani brothers that show our love and care for this nation,” he said.

From installing 60 kilowatt solar energy panels at the Lakki Marwat District Hospital that will provide 90% of the facility’s electricity, to setting up the Emergency Department of the District Head Quarter Hospital Upper Dir in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, TIKA is also creating opportunities for residents.

Balci praised Pakistani officials’ willingness to work with TIKA.

“Whether it is health, energy, or the agriculture sector, Pakistani authorities trust TIKA when it comes to technical support, and in the years to come we’re planning to enhance this cooperation in the field of agriculture also,” he said.

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