Turkish Airlines will send 60 tonnes of humanitarian aid worth US$2 million to famine-struck Somalia as part of a campaign by Vine and Snapchat star Jerome Jarre, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
Hollywood star Ben Stiller had asked Turkish Airlines via Twitter to offer one of its aircraft to send the aid to Somalia.
Many Twitter users from all parts of the world supported the online campaign that began with a ‘#TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia’ hashtag.
On March 17, Turkish Airlines responded with its tweet: “Ready for take-off to help Somalia”.
The airline had also tweeted its love for Somalia, adding: “We got the call for this meaningful flight”.
The aid goal of US$2 million was achieved on Wednesday after 75,000 people made donations to the campaign.
Turkish president’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin spoke with the Hollywood star over the phone and later tweeted: “Great and gracious work by Ben Stiller and his friends for the people of Somalia. We are ready to help”.
On March 4, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged people to take part in the Turkish Red Crescent’s aid campaign for Somalia.
The president of the Red Crescent, Kerem Kinik, thanked Stiller for raising awareness on the issue and said the charity was preparing three ships and three cargo planes to send to Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan through Turkish Airlines.
According to the UN, more than 20 million people are on the brink of starvation in east Africa, including around 1.4 million children.
Turkey has provided more than US$121.9 million since 2011 through the Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, the Turkish Red Crescent and the Directorate of Religious Affairs.