The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is conducting one of the largest search and rescue operations in the wake of the terrible earthquakes in Turkey and Syria earlier this week.
In his role of crisis coordinator for the EU’s response, Commissioner Janez lenarcic arrived in Gaziantep and met with Vice-President of Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management and cross-border humanitarian partners from Northwest Syria. He will visit the disaster site, as well as ongoing rescue operations, together with the EU Civil Protection Team in Gaziantep and the EU Humanitarian Aid Office.
EU support for Syria: Following yesterday’s activation the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for Syria the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely working with EU Member State and the Mechanism’s Participating Countries to channel as much emergency assistance as possible to the Syrian people. Romania and Italy have already offered family tents, sleeping bags and mattresses, as well as food and winter clothing. The World Food Programme requested assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism on 9 February to help the people of Syria. This will enable further EU aid to flow.
Since 2011, the EU and its member countries have contributed more than EUR27 billion to humanitarian aid in Syria. The EU provided EUR3.5 million in emergency funds to Syria to assist humanitarian partners with urgent needs. This includes cash for shelter, food, water, sanitation, search and rescue after an earthquake, and money for medical care.
EU support for Turkiye:Latest supports include, the mobilization of the strategic reserves in order to deliver 500 temporary accommodation units and 2,000 tents to Turkiye, as well as 10,500 beds from the emergency stockpiles held by Sweden and Romania. Tents are able to provide immediate relief and can accommodate 4 people, while prefabricated temporary housing units can hold up to 5 people. They can also be used to provide emergency shelter for people who have lost their homes due to the earthquake. The rescEU aid is worth nearly EUR5m.
This is in addition to the EU Civil Protection Scheme that has provided 38 emergency and medical assistance. Over 1,650 rescuers have been dispatched to Turkiye, along with 104 search dogs. The Mechanism has already helped 36 people to be rescued by the search and rescue teams.
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