Turkey/Syria: UK agencies raise £33m in hours - Dispatch Weekly

February 10, 2023 - Reading time: 3 minutes

​On its first day, a UK plea for aid for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria brought in almost £33 million.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) issued the call on behalf of a number of humanitarian organisations, and it was televised on Thursday night.

The British public has given £27.9 million, according to DEC. The first £5 million in donations would have been doubled by the government, bringing the total to £32.9 million.

The “kind donation” was also acknowledged by King Charles. The appeal is also supported by the Prince and Princess of Wales.

In the wake of the earthquakes, William and Kate tweeted that they were “horrified to witness the horrible photos” and that their sympathies were with the impacted communities.

The two earthquakes that slammed southern Turkey and northern Syria early on Monday are now believed to have killed more than 21,000 people, and the death toll is only set to increase.

Some of the groups that have banded together to raise money for the numerous injured and homeless people whose lives have been wrecked by the natural disaster include the British Red Cross, Oxfam, and ActionAid.

The “amazing” amount raised thus far, according to development minister Andrew Mitchell, is evidence of the “kindness” of regular people.

Along with a £500,000 contribution from the Scottish government, the DEC Scotland officially launched its appeal on Thursday.

The several earthquakes have severely devastated the region’s infrastructure, including highways and electrical supply, and thousands of structures, including hospitals and schools, have collapsed.

380,000 individuals, according to the Turkish government, have sought shelter in hotels or shelters run by the government.

In a region in north-west Syria that was already hostile and inaccessible following more than ten years of civil war and where access to medical care is extremely limited, buildings have also collapsed.

The folks whose homes were devastated by the earthquake are now being hosted by some of the locals who were previously living in tents after fleeing conflict.

According to the DEC, 17 million people might be affected, many of them would be without shelter throughout the bitter winter. It anticipates that the recovery process will take years.

Saleh Saaed, CEO of DEC, said: “The accounts we are currently hearing from the survivors who have been able to leave the rubble of flattened and crumpled buildings without shoes and clothing in the dead of winter are profoundly sad.”

The Committee predicted that it would be challenging to find clean water in the following days and that waterborne illnesses would present a risk.

A military transport aircraft headed for Turkey on Thursday evening had thousands of warm blankets among its cargo.​ ​Among the additional emergency aid will be a field hospital with a continuously operating room.

DW Staff

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