Major earthquakes hit Turkey, Syria: Who is stepping up to help?
Powerful earthquakes and aftershocks have caused widespread devastation in Turkey and Syria.
Dozens of countries and organisations have offered to assist rescue efforts in southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria after Monday’s earthquakes and several aftershocks killed thousands of people.
Below is a list of the international mobilisation and offers of assistance since the earthquakes. It will be updated accordingly.
Afghanistan’s Taliban administration will send aid worth about $166,000 to Turkey and Syria to help the response to a devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck this week, according to a foreign ministry statement.
Afghanistan is in the grips of a severe economic and humanitarian crisis and is itself the location of one of the United Nations’ largest humanitarian aid programmes.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan … announces a relief package of 10 million Afghanis ($111,024) and 5 million Afghanis ($55,512) to Türkiye and Syria respectively on the basis of shared humanity and Islamic brotherhood,” a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement, using another spelling for Turkey, said late on Tuesday.
Algeria has sent an 89-member civil protection team to Turkey and another 85-member team to Syria to help in the rescue efforts, along with 210 tonnes of humanitarian aid for both countries, Algerian newspaper Echorouk El-Yawmi reported.
Austria has offered to send 84 soldiers from a military disaster relief unit to Turkey.
A Chinese rescue team sent by China arrived in Turkey’s Adana on Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The team, comprising 82 members and four search dogs, also brought in 20 tonnes of supplies and equipment. The CCTV also said a non-governmental rescue and search organisation from Zhejiang province also sent an advanced team to Turkey.
China will give a first tranche of 40 million yuan ($5.9m) in emergency aid to help Turkey’s relief efforts, according to CCTV.
The country’s Red Cross will give emergency aid of $200,000 each to Turkey and Syria, it added.
Croatia is sending a team of 40 people and 10 dogs, along with rescue equipment and vans to Turkey.
The Czech Republic is sending Turkey a team of 68 rescuers, including firefighters, doctors, structural engineers and experts with sniffer dogs.
Twenty-seven search and rescue teams have been mobilised to search for survivors in Turkey, Janez Lenarcic, EU crisis commissioner, said.
The units come from 19 different European countries, including non-EU members Montenegro and Albania, and are made up of 1,150 rescue workers and 70 dogs.
Their deployment is coordinated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which allows countries in need to request emergency assistance from the EU and other countries participating in the scheme.
The bloc’s Copernicus satellite system has been activated to provide emergency mapping services to help first responders.
The European Commission is also helping neighbouring Syria by funding humanitarian organisations supervising search and rescue operations.
So far, we've mobilised 27 search & rescue and medical teams from 19 European countries via the #EUCivilProtectionMechanism to help 🇹🇷 after the earthquake, together over 1150 rescuers and 70 rescue dogs.
I thank 🇧🇬🇭🇷🇨🇿🇫🇷🇬🇷🇳🇱🇵🇱🇷🇴🇮🇹🇭🇺🇦🇹🇩🇪🇪🇪🇪🇸🇲🇹🇸🇰🇵🇹🇲🇪🇦🇱. #EUsolidarity at its best! pic.twitter.com/J1jBcwBV1N
— Janez Lenarčič (@JanezLenarcic) February 7, 2023
Germany’s Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) sent a 50-member rescue team to Turkey on Tuesday. A team from the group International Search and Rescue Germany, with 42 experts and seven dogs, was headed to Kirikhan, near the Syrian border.
Germany has also been readying deliveries of emergency generators, tents, blankets and water treatment equipment.
It would increase its assistance to charities such as Malteser International providing humanitarian aid in northwest Syria by $1.1m, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised more support.
Regional rival Greece sent Turkey a team of 21 rescuers, two rescue dogs and a special rescue vehicle, together with a structural engineer, five doctors and seismic planning experts in a military transport plane.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered condolences and “immediate assistance” to Turkey.
Despite decades of animosity and recent tension over migration and hydrocarbon exploration, Greece and Turkey have a long history of helping each other after calamities.
The Indian government announced two teams from its National Disaster Response Force comprising 100 personnel with specially trained canine squads and equipment for search-and-rescue operations.
The first batch of Indian relief material reached Turkey on Tuesday, while another batch of emergency relief material arrived in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Wednesday.
Medical teams were also being readied, and relief material was being sent in coordination with the Turkish authorities. Two aircraft carrying medical staff landed in Adana on Wednesday to set up a 30-bed field hospital.
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross has sent surgical material, enough to treat 100 people, to one of the public hospitals in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
More medical equipment is on its way to Aleppo, Latakia and Tartous. The Red Cross is also donating canned food, blankets, mattresses and other essential items for distribution in the many shelters being set up in affected areas.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani expressed readiness to help the victims.
Hailing Iran’s “good relationship” with both countries, Kanaani said, “If there is a need for the presence of relief and health institutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the earthquake-affected areas, we will fulfil our moral responsibility.”
He described the offer of help as a “moral, human and Islamic responsibility”.
This is the moment rescue teams in northern Syria pulled a child from under the rubble of a collapsed building after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/8TNpapvYtU
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 6, 2023
The Israeli army said it was sending a search and rescue team of 150 engineers, medical personnel and other aid workers to Turkey.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he gave the go-ahead to send aid to Syria after “receiving a request” through diplomatic channels as the neighbours have no official relations.
Israel “received a request from a diplomatic source for humanitarian aid to Syria, and I approved it”, Netanyahu told lawmakers from his Likud party, adding it would be sent soon.
But a Syrian official told reporters Damascus “ridiculed and denied the allegations” that it requested aid from Israel. “How can Syria ask for help from an entity that has killed … Syrians for decades?” said the official.
Italy’s Civil Protection Agency has offered assistance to Turkey. A firefighting team was preparing to leave from Pisa, and the Italian military says transport flights will carry equipment as well as health and other personnel.
Japan was sending a group of about 75 rescue workers to Turkey.
Jordan was sending emergency aid to Syria and Turkey on the orders of King Abdullah II.
Lebanon’s cash-strapped government was sending soldiers, Red Cross and Civil Defence first responders, and firefighters to Turkey to help with its rescue efforts.
One of Libya’s rival governments said it will dispatch a 55-member team to Turkey to help in rescue efforts. The government of Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibah said the team would include rescuers, medical members along with four dogs.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has announced that a second specialist rescue team will leave for Turkey.
The Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) will join a team of 75 already on the ground and will be working in Gaziantep.
The Ministry of Defence will also send a team of doctors and paramedics to set up a field hospital.
The government would also provide $1m to Turkey and Syria, but it did not elaborate on how the funds would be split.
Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir earlier said he had spoken to his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, for a full update on the situation.
“I am sad to say, the destruction is massive and the countries affected by the earthquake will require support from everyone,” Kadir said in a statement on Monday night.
Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary said the country would send equipment and rescue specialists to Turkey.
Moldova’s president said 55 rescue workers had been sent to Turkey.
Montenegro is sending 24 firefighters to Turkey.
Voicing full solidarity with Turkey, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter, “I am in touch with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and NATO Allies are mobilizing support now.”
Full solidarity with our Ally #Türkiye in the aftermath of this terrible earthquake. I am in touch with President @RTErdogan and Foreign Minister @MevlutCavusoglu, and #NATO Allies are mobilizing support now.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) February 6, 2023
New Zealand is providing $632,000 to the Turkish Red Crescent and $316,000 to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to deliver items such as food, tents and blankets, as well as provide medical assistance and psychological support.
Norwegian Refugee Council
“NRC is assessing the situation in order to provide direct support to those most affected across Syria. A massive scale-up is needed and our organisation will be part of it,” said Carsten Hansen, Middle East regional director for NRC.
Pakistan has dispatched its first batch of rescue teams and relief goods to Turkey.
A C-130 plane carrying a search and rescue team of the Pakistan army took off from Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi late on Monday, said a statement from the prime minister’s office.
Meanwhile, a 50-member rescue team, along with 25 tonnes of relief goods, left for Turkey through a Pakistan International Airlines flight, the statement added.
Poland would send rescue group HUSAR, consisting of 76 firefighters and eight rescue dogs, Interior and Administration Minister Mariusz Kamiński said.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said the Palestinian Authority will dispatch two humanitarian missions to assist in Syria and Turkey. The aid missions will include civil defence and medical teams.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed his condolences in a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan and expressed Qatar’s support for the “sisterly” country “in mitigating the serious humanitarian repercussions left by the earthquake”, state news agency QNA said.
The Qatari government said it was operating relief flights to Turkey to transport search and rescue teams along with vehicles, a field hospital, tents and other supplies, QNA reported.
Qatar-funded Qatar Charity said it was distributing 27,000 hot meals in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, where it has an office, and is supplying relief items to shelters in Turkey and Syria. The group allocated $6m for the first stages of its response.
Syria’s Red Crescent was ready to deliver relief aid to all the country’s regions including opposition-held areas through United Nations agencies, its head said in a news conference.
Romania was sending specialised personnel and material to Turkey on two military aircraft.
President Vladimir Putin promised to send Russian teams to both countries in telephone calls with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Turkey’s Erdogan.
“In the nearest hours, rescuers from the Russian emergency ministry will take off for Syria,” the Kremlin said. The defence ministry said 300 military personnel deployed in Syria were helping with the rescue effort. The emergency situations ministry is also sending rescue teams to Syria.
“Bashar al-Assad gratefully accepted this offer,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
“The Turkish president warmly thanked Vladimir Putin for such a prompt and sincere reaction and said that he was giving instructions to the competent authorities of the country to accept the help of Russian rescuers.”
Saudi Arabia ordered an air bridge to provide aid and organised a campaign through its “Sahem” platform to help in Turkey and Syria.
Serbia was sending 21 rescuers and three liaison officers to Turkey.
A South Korean military aircraft transporting a 118-person team of rescue and search workers and troops is headed to Turkey. It is also sending medical supplies and pledging other humanitarian support. The country will also be donating an initial $5m to Turkey.
Spain was preparing to send two urban search and rescue teams to Turkey with 85 personnel, and a contingent of volunteer firefighters.
Swiss rescue dog service REDOG was sending 22 rescuers with 14 dogs to Turkey. The government said it would also send 80 search and rescue specialists to the country, including the army’s disaster experts.
Taiwan pledged $200,000 for quake-relief efforts. A 40-person rescue team from the self-governing island was also expected to fly to Turkey.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine was ready to send support.
“I wish a speedy recovery to all the victims. We will stand by the Turkish people in this difficult time. Ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.
A bystander captured the moment a building collapsed in southeastern Turkey following the deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/NaCONwACVo
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 6, 2023
United Arab Emirates
The UAE pledged humanitarian assistance worth $13.6m to Syria.
Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum “directed urgent humanitarian aid to those affected in Syria”, the official news agency WAM said.
The UAE dispatched a first plane to Adana Airport in southern Turkey “carrying search and rescue teams, crews, and medical equipment”, it said.
The country was also planning to establish a field hospital in Turkey and would also send search and rescue teams to Syria, along with urgent relief supplies and emergency aid, WAM added.
The UK said it would send search and rescue specialists and an emergency medical team to Turkey.
The assistance included 76 search and rescue specialists, four search dogs and rescue equipment.
“We stand ready to provide further support as needed,” James Cleverly, the UK’s foreign secretary, said in a statement.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi voiced “solidarity” with those affected in both countries, saying the UN agency was “ready to help provide urgent relief to the survivors through our field teams wherever possible”.
UN staff were on the ground in Turkey and Syria to assess the need and provide assistance, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
“We count on the international community to help the thousands of families hit by this disaster, many of whom were already in dire need of humanitarian aid in areas where access is a challenge.”
US President Joe Biden said his administration has been working closely with Turkey.
The US is sending two, 79-person search-and-rescue teams to assist Turkish authorities.
The assistance included nearly 100 Los Angeles County firefighters and structural engineers, along with a half-dozen specially trained dogs to help with rescue efforts.
World Health Organization
The WHO said it was dispatching emergency supplies, including trauma and emergency surgical kits, and activating a network of emergency medical teams.
This TV crew was broadcasting live when a second magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit Turkey ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/XM5VVH7Qrl
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 6, 2023