Turkey has sent $365 million (TL 640 million) in cash and in-kind aid to Somalia over the past year, a statement by the Prime Ministry Public Diplomacy Coordinator's Office said on Wednesday.The Public Diplomacy Coordinator's Office released a statement on Turkish assistance to Somalia ahead of the International Conference on Somalia, which will be held in London on Thursday.
Famine killed 29,000 children in Somalia last year, and Turkey has spearheaded efforts to send aid to the drought-stricken country and its similarly afflicted neighbors.İstanbul hosted a conference on Somalia that was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in May 2010. With Turkey’s call, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened at an extraordinary session on Aug. 17, 2011, and $350 million in aid was collected for Somalia, the statement noted.A number of senior members of the Turkish state have visited Somalia, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who paid a visit to the Somali capital of Mogadishu last year.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is set to participate in an international conference on Somalia in London this week. The conference will discuss the latest political developments in Somalia, efforts in combating terrorism and piracy as well as international humanitarian assistance against drought and starvation.