Turkey will deliver around 15,000 tonnes of food to Somalia during the holy month of Ramadan, as East Africa continues to edge closer to famine.
Turkish Red Crescent Vice-president Naci Yorulmaz headed a delegation to the Somali capital this week where he visited an orphanage and distributed meals to children.
It is part of wider humanitarian efforts by Turkey to deliver aid to Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia in an attempt to stave off famine.
Aid agencies and NGOs have warned that unless the international community intervenes then millions could be at risk of a famine this summer which is sweeping East Africa and Yemen.
“This aid will be sent to all the regions in Somalia. There is 1,000 trucks-loaded humanitarian aid in this ship,” Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kinik told Anadolu state news agency.
The ship carrying the cargo is due to arrive on Saturday, the first day of Ramadan when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
Among the cargo is flour, sugar, medicine and baby food, which will help 3 million Somalis during the holy month.
Eleven ships have been sent from Turkey to Somalia in total, while two more are being prepared to be sent to Yemen.
“There is a cholera outbreak in Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan right now. After Yemen, we will try to reach to Cuba and northern regions in South Sudan. This is a big mobilisation,” Kinik said, adding that the aid should reach around 9 million people in total.
Turkey has also set up mobile bakeries in Somalia, including one in the capital Mogadishu which provides 4,000 loafs of bread a day, while a mobile kitchen distributes 7,000 hot meals to hospitals, orphanages and centres for the disabled.