The visit follows a further £25 million major UK package of support on 15 February, with the UK responding to needs on the ground in Turkey and in Syria in line with requests from the Turkish authorities, the UN and aid agencies…reports Asian Lite News
As the UK continues to play a leading role in the global response to the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, UK Development Minister Andrew Mitchell travelled to southern Turkey on Sunday 19 February to see the response first-hand.
He witnessed the work of UK medical and aid teams supporting the Turkish authorities, Syrian organisations, UN and other aid organisations to coordinate the emergency response in both Turkey and Syria.
In Türkoğlu he toured a joint MoD-FCDO Field Hospital staffed by UK-Med and MoD personnel with an emergency room and 24/7 operating centre providing lifesaving care and thanked UK medical staff working side-by-side with Turkish medics.
He also met the White Helmets and Syrian Women’s groups as well as the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) member charity, Care International, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and UN agencies to hear first-hand about their relief efforts in Turkey and Syria and understand what more needs to be done as the crisis moves from rescue to recovery.
Development Minister Andrew Mitchell said, “We have been working since day one of this terrible earthquake to help coordinate the emergency response in both Turkey and Syria and provide life-saving support to those who need it. As this evolving situation heads into a new phase from rescue to recovery, I’ve seen first-hand the incredible efforts on the ground at the field hospital, with UK medical teams providing live-saving operations, including to those rescued from under the rubble. The British public’s response to the Disasters and Emergency Committee appeal, which has now reached a staggering £88 million, underlines the strong support from the UK for rescue and recovery following this tragic event. I have seen and heard today how this extraordinary generosity has enabled British expertise, charities and NGOs to scale up their support and make a real difference to the people of Turkey and Syria.”
The UK match funded the first £5 million of public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake appeal providing immediate life-saving support to hardest-hit areas, thanks to the compassion and generosity of the British public.
The visit follows a further £25 million major UK package of support on 15 February, with the UK responding to needs on the ground in Turkey and in Syria in line with requests from the Turkish authorities, the UN and aid agencies.
The UK also sent a team of 77 search and rescue experts with specialist equipment, as well as four rescue dogs, who worked day and night to help people affected by the earthquake. The UK-aid-funded White Helmets (Syria Civil Defence) mobilised a significant search and rescue effort and the UK mobilised an additional £4.3 million to the White Helmets in support of this. As we move from rescue to recovery, the UK is continuing to send urgent relief supplies to Turkey and Syria such as tents and blankets to help survivors cope with the freezing conditions.
We are working closely with the UN to maintain the swift delivery of these supplies across the Turkish border into north-west Syria.
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