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Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 1°C
Alamy Stock Photo Two women hug each other in front of a destroyed building in Kahramanmaras, southern Turkey

Irish aid organisations seek support for emergency earthquake response in Turkey and Syria

The death toll from the quake has above 11,700 this afternoon.

LAST UPDATE | Feb 8th 2023, 7:27 PM

IRISH HUMANITARIAN AID organisations are scaling up their emergency response in Turkey and Syria following Monday’s devastating earthquake. 

The death toll from the quake has above 11,700 this afternoon as rescuers race to save survivors trapped under debris in the winter cold. The death toll is expected to continue to rise.

Since the 7.8 magnitude quake struck, thousands of searchers have worked in freezing temperatures to find those still alive under flattened buildings on either side of the border.

Dóchas, the Irish association of non-governmental development organisations, has today said Irish NGOs are on the ground and working through local partners to help the survivors. 

The following Irish aid organisations have launched emergency appeals to support the relief effort:

Speaking yesterday, Dóchas CEO Jane-Ann McKenna said: “Local facilities are overwhelmed, and there is an urgent need for food, water, temporary shelter, clothes, blankets, hygiene and sanitary products, and medical items.

“It is vital that these supplies are delivered as quickly as possible to those who need them most.” 

Elsewhere, Irish woman Anne O’Rorke who runs a non-profit organisation working working with Syrian refugees in Turkey is in a “race against time” to get basic supplies to two medical centres in Idlib – a rebel-controlled region of north-west Syria that has been devastated by the recent earthquakes. 

O’Rorke initially moved to Izmir, Turkey, to head up a construction company. She set up the TIAFI community centre in 2017 after witnessing the struggles of refugees escaping war-torn Syria first-hand. 

Now the centre works with roughly 7,000 people.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin on Monday announced that Ireland will send €2 million in emergency assistance to Turkey and Syria.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the €2 million allocation is in direct response to the emergency appeal for funding from the Government of Turkey and aid agencies working in Turkey and northwest Syria.

With reporting by Eimer McAuley

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