Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have devastated the region, causing at least 4,000 deaths and unimaginable destruction in the area. Buildings were flattened, trapping people under the rubble and forcing rescuers to try and dig them out with their bare hands.
On Monday, the UAE reiterated its solidarity with Turkey and Syria, and the victims of the massive earthquake. The UAE also expressed its sincere condolences to the two countries and their peoples.
Find live updates on our blog here.
Here are five things that the UAE is doing to aid the devastated region:
1. $100-million relief fund for earthquake victims in Syria, Turkey
The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ordered the provision of $100 million for the relief of those affected by the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey.
Sheikh Mohamed’s initiative includes providing $50 million to the brotherly Syrian people affected by earthquakes, in addition to $50 million to the friendly Turkish people.
2. Sending search-and-rescue team
On February 6, the UAE President directed that a search-and-rescue team be dispatched to help people affected by the earthquake in Turkey.
Thousands were still trapped under the rubble as the terrible earthquake caused hundreds of buildings to collapse on top of sleeping residents early Monday morning. Bad weather has been hampering rescue efforts, and desperate families are recounting harrowing stories of survivors still crying out for help from within mountains of debris as first responders contend with rain and snow.
3. Setting up field hospitals
Under the directives of Sheikh Mohamed, a field hospital has also been established to help the victims in Turkey.
Field hospitals are set up in disaster zones to manage injuries on-site before patients can be transferred to bigger medical centres. These facilities are often set up on a temporary basis. In Turkey, more than 15,800 people have been injured as of Tuesday morning, according to Turkey’s head of disaster services, Yunus Sezer.
4. Sending aid planes
The UAE has sent urgent relief supplies and emergency aid to assist families in the hardest-hit areas of Syria.
The humanitarian and medical aid comes within the framework of the urgent response to mitigate the repercussions of the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey.
The first aid plane took off on Monday evening from Abu Dhabi to Adana Airport, southern Turkey, carrying search and rescue teams, crews, and medical equipment.
5. Launching Gallant Knight / 2 operation
The Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defence has announced the launch of “Gallant Knight / 2” operation under the directives of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, to provide assistance for the peoples of Syria and Turkey.
The operation includes the participation of the Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation; and the Emirates Red Crescent.
6. Pledging Dh50 million in urgent aid
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, directed the dispatch of urgent humanitarian aid worth Dh50 million to Syria on Monday.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid affirmed that the UAE is ready to support Syria as it faces the most devastating earthquake to hit the region in decades. He said that the UAE will continue to extend a helping hand to the people until they overcome this ordeal.
The aid will be delivered in the form of ration parcels through the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to the most affected groups in Syria.
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