Supporting Uighur Diasporic Community in Turkey Amidst Economic Uncertainty

In the midst of Turkey's unstable economic situation caused by the pandemic, the Uighur diasporic community in Istanbul has to survive in the middle of rising unemployment. Collaborating with Muslim Volunteer Malaysia (MVM), Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) distributed food packages to them.

Delivery of food packages to one of the Uighurs in Istanbul. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, ISTANBUL – The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the employment in Turkey as the country was recovering from the first recession in a decade when the coronavirus hit.

With a risk of mass unemployment, a collapse in tourism and an unstable currency, "the situation is extremely bad", said Atilla Yesilada, an economist at GlobalSource Partners think tank, reported by AFP in May.

As reported by CNBC Indonesia, the Turkish government had previously launched a stimulus package in March before the coronavirus hit. However, the assistance was seen by a number of parties as being inadequate.

The impact of COVID-19 is also felt by the Uighur community in Istanbul, Turkey. Their livelihood has been hampered and their income declines, resulting in many Uighur poor families unable to meet their basic needs.

Cash aid to one of the diaspora families. (ACTNews)

"The Uighur community in Turkey is affected by COVID-19 pandemic with no active employment due to the pandemic. Currently, the number of Covid-19 cases in Turkey has reached over 200,000 active cases," explained Firdaus Guritno from ACT's Global Humanity Response – ACT, Wednesday (7/1).

Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) and Muslim Volunteer Malaysia (MVM) supported the Uighur community in Turkey by providing food packages, cash assistance, and hygiene kits to 100 families, consisting of 600 Uighurs in Istanbul.

"We distributed hundreds of food packages, hygiene kits, and later we will distribute cash assistance to the Uighurs here. We are grateful to be able to collaborate with MVM, who cares about the Uighur community. Insha Allah, the assistance will support the Uighur community in Turkey, "Firdaus said.

This was not the first collaboration between MVM and ACT in helping the Uighurs. In early Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr 1441 AH, ACT had collaborated with this Malaysian NGO to provide assistance for the Uighurs living in Kayseri and Istanbul. []