Monday March 27, 2023

Finland to send emergency aid to quake victims in Turkey, Syria

Published : 08 Feb 2023, 02:14

Updated : 21 Mar 2023, 01:50

  DF Report
This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2023 shows a building damaged by an earthquake in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras Province, Turkey. Photo: Xinhua.

Finland will be sending EUR 1 million in humanitarian assistance to Turkey and Syria through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in a press release on Tuesday.

The support will be used to provide food, shelter, medical supplies and psychosocial support to people who lost their homes in the two countries.

The rescue effort was launched quickly following the devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey on Monday. More than 5,000 people died and more than 20,000 were injured in Turkey and Syria.

“The scale of human distress is immense in the region, and fear of aftershocks makes it worse. Finland wants to help quickly those affected by the disaster. Turkish and Syrian teams of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society are already helping people on the ground, for example by providing meals and emergency shelters, and Finland supports their work,” said Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

Finland’s support will be delivered to the region by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

IFRC has launched emergency appeals for EUR 70.6 million to support affected people in Turkey and Syria.

The collected funds will allow IFRC to provide food, shelter, medical supplies and psychosocial support, among other help, to people who lost their homes in the two countries. Turkish and Syrian teams of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society are already helping people on the ground, and Finland supports their work.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs also supports the Finnish Red Cross on an annual basis to ensure its capacity to quickly mobilise response to disasters and crises.

The earthquake struck in a region that is politically fragmented and controlled by many different groups. Moreover, 4.1 million people in north-western Syria were already in need of humanitarian assistance. Poor communication connections, unreliable electricity supply and collapsed road networks make it difficult to monitor the situation and deliver relief.

In addition to humanitarian assistance, Finland is sending experts to Turkey to assist in rescue and relief work. The experts will be deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.