Turkey-Syria earthquake: Welsh Government announces £300,000 in emergency aid
The Welsh Government has announced £300,000 of financial support to provide emergency aid and rapid relief to people affected by devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Around 16,000 people are reported to have been killed since the first powerful 7.8 magnitude quake struck in the early hours of Monday with tens of thousands injured.
Survivors have since been left without shelter in freezing winter conditions.
According to the Turkish government, 380,000 people have sought refuge in shelters or hotels.
Joining the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and its member charities on the steps of the Senedd to launch the Türkiye and Syria Crisis Appeal to raise urgent funds to help people affected.
The Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt said: “This is a deeply sad and devastating event, and my condolences are with those who have lost loved ones.
“My thoughts are also with the injured as well as Turkish and Syrian people in Wales waiting apprehensively for news.
“I’m grateful to people from all across Wales who are already offering all manner of support.
Following the vast scale of destruction in southern Turkey and north-west Syria rescue teams have been searching the rubble for survivors.
Firefighters from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have formed part of a team of 77 UK International Search and Rescue experts providing specialist skills and equipment to help locate and rescue survivors.
The minster added: “Our International Strategy sets out our ambition to establish Wales as a globally responsible nation.
With humanitarian need only expected to grow in Turkey and Syria, this financial support will go towards ensuring the urgent aid that people need to survive can be provided.”
Responding to the announcement, Plaid Cymru’s International Affairs spokesperson, Heledd Fychan MS, said: “The desperate situation in Türkiye and Syria as a result of the devastating earthquake requires all the help possible from the international community. Wales must also play its part, both financially and by sending aid.
“Many people in Wales will be incredibly worried about family and loved ones caught in this crisis.
“I welcome the direct support that the Welsh Government is providing to the DEC appeal, as the Scottish Government has done.”
DEC charities and their local partners were among the first responders working with local relief efforts to provide access to food and clean water as well as medical treatment and shelter.
The DEC appeal will also raise money to go towards longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction.
DEC Cymru’s External Relations Manager, Siân Stephen, added:
“In Turkey alone, 6,000 buildings including schools and health centres have collapsed, with infrastructure vital to everyday life such as sanitation and water supplies badly damaged.
“Of course, we know that money is tight for many people here in the UK as the cost-of-living crisis continues, but if you can, please do donate to support people caught up in this deadly disaster.”
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