The Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) is set to send aid to over 4 million needy people around the world during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha m

“As part of our 2020 Eid al-Adha campaign, we will carry the meat we obtain from donations of our citizens to more than 4 million people,” the Turkish Red Crescent Chairman Kerem Kinik told Anadolu Agency in an interview.

The majority of Muslim countries around the world will mark the first day of the Eid Al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, on Friday.

As part of the holiday festivities, the charity will sacrifice animals in 17 countries, including Turkey, he said.

Referring to the foundation’s activities on Eid al-Adha, Kinik said they plan to distribute 150,000 shares of animal meat both in Turkey and abroad this year.

This year’s Eid al-Adha aid activities will be carried out from Africa to Asia and the Balkans, including South Sudan, Tanzania, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Palestine, Iraq, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Syria and Yemen, he said.

“Turkish Red Crescent carries the goodness that crosses the borders,” he stressed.

The humanitarian group will slaughter sacrificial animals in all 81 provinces of Turkey, Kinik added.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Red Crescent will deliver the cans of roasted meat — which it prepares in cooperation with Turkey’s Meat and Milk Board — to needy people in Turkey throughout the year, he underlined. 

“Although we are planning to distribute more aid in Turkey this year, we will bring abundance to our brothers who need our help across the world,” Kinik said.

Aid distribution during pandemic

“Although the COVID-19 outbreak did not affect our Eid activities in our country [Turkey], it caused a drop in the number of countries we will reach out,” Kinik said

In order to reduce operational expenses, Kinik said they planned the animal slaughtering in countries where the Turkish Red Crescent has permanent teams.

He went on to say that this situation has caused the charity to reduce the number of donated Eid animals’ slaughtering planned to be carried out abroad.

While last year the Turkish Red Crescent had sacrificed animals in more than 50 countries, this year the number dropped to 16 countries, besides Turkey, Kinik said.

Due to the novel coronavirus, most people tend to donate their shares these days rather than slaughtering animals themselves due to certain limitations on mass gathering and mass animal slaughtering on holidays. 

Support of nation

“Our nation has shown that it has always been helpful, even in difficult and testing times, and continues to do so. A great example of solidarity was also shown during the pandemic period,” he highlighted.

Noting that the Turkish nation has always been extending the helping hand to those in need, Kinik said: “We can show the Turkish Red Crescent as an institutionalized example of our nation’s sense of benevolence and compassion.”

This year, the Turkish Red Crescent has received nearly up to 50% more donations compared to the same period of last year, and delivered the aid to more people, accordingly, he stressed.

During the coronavirus-related lockdown, Turkey delivered medical aid and equipment to nearly 140 countries across the globe.

Tough year

Kinik said this year was so far a tough year during which the whole world was under the pandemic lockdown, which mostly affected the low-income communities, and caused millions of people losing their jobs or receiving a pay cut.

Meanwhile, during the year, Turkey faced number of earthquakes and floods in different parts of the country, he said, adding: “Thousands of people still live in container towns.”

The Turkish Red Crescent will first share the meat of sacrificed animals with this segment of the society, Kinik said.

The people can donate their animals to the Turkish Red Crescent via its webpage, as well as through its branches, via phone, mobile application, and the country’s postal service, PTT.

The Turkish Red Crescent is the largest humanitarian organization in Turkey, with an international network through which it provides relief to other nations in need. The organization has been supporting the needy around the world for over 150 years.

It was founded on June 11, 1868 as the Society for Aiding the Wounded and Ailing Ottoman Soldiers.

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