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Turkish aid agency donates 7,500 face masks to Gambia

Turkish aid agency donates 7,500 face masks to Gambia

Turkey’s state-run aid agency on Friday delivered 7,500 reusable face masks to five local government councils in Gambia.

Each of the councils received 1,500 face masks at a ceremony held at the office of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in the capital Banjul.

“I’m confident that these face masks being delivered today will go a long way in curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the Gambia,” said Mehmet Akif Eyigun, the agency’s Banjul coordinator.

In total, TIKA plans to donate 20,000 face masks in the coming weeks across the country, including Banjul, Kanifing and Brikama.

The aid agency has launched several initiatives to boost Gambia’s fight to contain the outbreak as the small West African country deals with a recent upsurge in infections.

The first leg of the campaign was launched around May when TIKA distributed 1,750 parcels of food to needy families. A few months later, it donated hygiene materials to a hospital in Serekunda near the capital.

In July, TIKA donated 45 hand-powered washing machines to eight local government administrations across the country. The machines were built by the Gambia Technical Training Institute.

“The global pandemic (COVID-19) has affected peoples’ lives and economies. At this time, international solidarity is more important than ever before,” said Turkish ambassador to Banjul, Tolga Bermek, emphasizing Turkey’s longstanding relations with Gambia.

Gambia has registered 2,585 cases of the virus and 97 deaths. Almost 200 health workers, including over 30 doctors, tested positive for the virus as of the beginning of August.

“We want to assure the TIKA Banjul office that this donation will get to the intended beneficiary […] These materials will help in our efforts to contain COVID-19,” said Chairman of the Mansakonko Area Council, Landing Sanneh.