March 31, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Dozens of countries send rescuers and emergency supplies to Turkey

International aid after the earthquakes in Turkey and neighboring Syria began to arrive on Tuesday. The first rescue teams have been deployed, and food and emergency supplies have already been sent, mainly to the Turkish provinces.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that 45 countries offered assistance.

European Union. The representative of the European Commission stated that EU mobilized more than 30 search and rescue teams through the European civil defense mechanism, as well as medical personnel from 21 European countries, including Albania and Montenegro. In total, more than 1200 rescuers and 70 specially trained dogs were offered by the European countries. Eleven teams are already in place, the rest are expected in the near future.

With regard to Syria, the spokesman noted that the EU is “by far the main donor of humanitarian assistance” and is in contact with its humanitarian partners and funders conducting search and rescue operations. “Of course we are ready to offer additional assistance and will continue to work around the clock in the coming days and weeks,” he assured.

Swedendespite strained relations with Ankara of late, has announced a donation of around $650,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent for Turkey and Syria.

Earlier today Germany announced that a search and rescue team consisting of 50 rescuers will leave for Adana this afternoon.

From France 139 rescuers from the Civil Protection Agency are waiting in Turkey, most likely to be sent to Kahramanmara, the epicenter of the first earthquake.Italy, Hungary, Poland and Spain also provided rescue teams at Turkey’s disposal, with the latter also sending drones to Malatya, where the international aid coordination center is located.

USA. The White House announced the deployment of two teams of 79 rescuers after President Joe Biden said he asked the agencies to “provide all necessary assistance” to Turkey.

China. Beijing announced today that it is sending $5.9 million in aid, rescuers trained in urban operations, medical teams and equipment.

Maghreb. From North African countries Algeria is sending 17 tons of equipment that can be used in rescue operations, as well as “an initial team of 89 experts to respond to serious risks.” On the night of Monday to Tuesday, 115 tons of medicines, food and tents were also sent to Syria, where the rescue team of the Algerian Civil Defense Service, consisting of 86 people, was stationed.

Tunisia provided the victims with 14 tons of bedding and food, such as infant formula, and Libyan Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbaiba ordered a team of 55 rescuers with five trained dogs “immediately” to be sent.

Lebanon. Beirut has opened up its airspace and ports, freeing shipping and aviation companies arriving in the country to meet humanitarian needs from fees and taxes, the Public Works Ministry said. Army units and rescuers, mainly from the Lebanese Red Cross, will go to Syria.

Persian Gulf countries. Qatar has announced that it is sending an expeditionary hospital and rescue teams to Turkey. The United Arab Emirates is sending the same to Turkey, as well as an “emergency aid” team to Syria, and has announced that it will provide the country with $13.6 million worth of humanitarian aid.

UK/Ireland. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley announced on Monday that 76 rescuers, equipment and dogs have been sent to Turkey. Dublin pledged 2 million euros in humanitarian aid.

Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country, despite the war with Russia, is “ready to provide the necessary assistance” to Turkey. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmitry Kuleba, spoke about a “large team of rescuers.”

Russia. President Vladimir Putin announced the dispatch of rescuers to Turkey and Syria. In Syria, the 300 Russian troops stationed there began helping clear the rubble yesterday.

India decided “immediately” to send rescue teams and doctors, as well as various necessary supplies, the government said.

Japan. According to an official statement from Tokyo, Japan will send a disaster response team to help “meet humanitarian needs.”

Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered all departments to “immediately prepare to provide medical assistance” and take part in rescue operations.

Iran. On Monday, Tehran sent a plane to Damascus with 45 tons of various items, including blankets, tents, medicines and food, the Syrian news agency Sana reported.

Iraq. Two planes from Iraq landed in Damascus, each carrying 70 tons of food and medical supplies, according to Sana. Baghdad has opened an air corridor for humanitarian aid and will send fuel to Syria tomorrow, Wednesday.

Jordan. Amman will send medical supplies and a team of 99 rescuers and five doctors from the Royal Medical Service to Syria, pro-government newspaper Aw Watan reported.

Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kinik called on fellow citizens to donate blood for the benefit of the victims, explaining that there are enough supplies for now, but such a large-scale disaster will soon expose blood banks in the country, and there may be a shortage for transfusion in the future. The response was instantaneous: such queues formed at the blood transfusion stations that after a few hours, the same Kerem Kinik made a request to extend the donation over time over the next few days: this would allow not to create a burden on doctors and procure blood products in the right amount so that they can be stored for a long time, according to the news agency “Anadolu“.

Social assistance to the victims of the earthquake is provided by the Ministry of Family Affairs and Social Services, having sent teams of psychologists to the disaster zone: they are currently working in the field, communicating with the victims and relatives of those who remained under the rubble. The department is also organizing teams of volunteers ready to distribute humanitarian aid: first of all, warm blankets, already available in the warehouses of the ministry, were sent to the victims.

Turkish citizens can take part in the collection of parcels for the victims of the earthquake: humanitarian aid will be collected separately in each of the provinces, with the participation of local authorities. First of all, gloves, coats, boots, hats, winter clothes for children, catalytic stoves, mattresses, blankets, power banks, food packages with canned food, diapers, baby food, hygiene items are required.

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