24 March 2014
World Bulletin / News Desk
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has donated two fully-equipped ambulances to the Ethiopian town of Harar, 523km east of Addis Ababa.
“When receiving the ambulances, I recalled those who lost their lives before they reached health institutions due to the shortage of ambulances,” Harari Regional State Deputy Chief Regasa Kefale said at a formal delivery ceremony.
Kefale told Anadolu Agency that “as the ambulances are well equipped to provide medical care to patients, they will help save the lives of many people, in particular women.”
“The Turkish government has carried out commendable activities in the social sector, in particular in safe water provision and the education sectors,” the Ethiopian official said.
For his part, Mohamed Ahmed, head of the ancient town’s health bureau, lauded the Turkish government for its contributions.
“The Turkish act was so fast to support those who are in need… They lived up to their word,” Ahmed said.
Enver Arpa, head of TIKA’s Middle East and Africa department, said Ankara would do its utmost to enhance existing relations with Ethiopia.
“The Turkish government is fully engaged in supporting the needy. The [Turkish] government covered the full cost of the ambulances,” he said.
Earlier, the Turkish government had assisted in improving the town’s water services, renovating cultural and tourism sites, repairing health institutions, and helping professionals exchange their experiences, among other things.
“It [the Turkish government] will also renovate the [historic] Al-Nejashi Mosque in the northern part of Ethiopia and maintain the Jugol Hospital in Harar,” Arpa asserted.
Maintenance work on the home of Mustafa Ali, a Turk who had lived in Harar decades ago, is already underway. Ali’s home is now one of the town’s heritage sites.
The ancient, walled city was built between the 13th and 16th centuries. It was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2006 in recognition of its cultural importance.
Harar’s Old City (Harar Jugol), said to be Islam’s fourth holiest city, boasts 82 mosques – three of which date from the 10th century – and 102 Muslim shrines.