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Jersey Sends Aid To Earthquake Survivors

Jersey has pledged £350,000 to help the relief efforts following the earthquakes that have devastated Turkey and Syria.

£200,000 has been allocated to a pooled fund of government donors to address needs in northern Syria.

Jersey’s contribution will be distributed to approved International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and local NGOs working in the region.

87% of the country's population already relies on humanitarian aid following more than a decade of civil war.

A further £150,000 has gone to the Red Cross and Crescent's Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. 

As of Friday morning (10 February), the number of people confirmed dead from Monday's quakes had reached 21,700.

The charity's Jeremy Smith is working in disaster zone and has been telling Channel 103 how the money will support survivors: 

"Tents blankets, mattresses, heaters, warm meals.  In Turkey, for example, the Turkish Red Crescent have 37 catering vans currently providing hot meals to people.  They have been able to provide more than 500,000 hot meals in the first two days alone."

He says freezing conditions, with temperatures overnight dropping to -13 Celsius, are hampering the rescue efforts:

"Search and rescue in that is incredibly difficult.  It has been tough for the volunteers, it has been tough for the SAR staff of the Red Cross.  But it's been even tougher for the survivors, who might have lost their entire family, who have lost their homes.  It is a very traumatic experience."

We're continuing search and rescue at the moment. We still found people today (Thursday) but having said that , we are also transitioning to recovering dead bodies, to safe and dignified burial, and ensuring that we can protect people from secondary issues and risks.

We need to get safe water to people, especially in Syria.  In Syria, this is a crisis within a crisis."

Jersey's Minister for International Development Deputy Carolyn Labey says supporting the Red Cross and Crescent Movement complements the JOA's existing support to the hard-to-reach region of northern Syria.

"Given the sheer scale and acuteness of needs, it is essential that the humanitarian response is coordinated and provides approved partners with the necessary resources to deliver life-saving assistance on the ground, quickly and effectively."

Richard Blewitt, Executive Director of International, The British Red Cross has written a letter of thanks to the people of Jersey:

"You are enabling us to rapidly scale-up our resources so we can save lives by quickly finding people who are sadly missing and supporting the thousands of injured people still reeling from the shock of this disaster. Your support will help us to provide urgent humanitarian assistance including emergency food, cash and medical supplies.

You’ll also help us protect the injured from the biting cold with blankets, sleeping bags, electric heaters and tents. Right now, we know that people are struggling emotionally and more than ever need their families around them.

We’ll do all we can to bring families back together and support them through the trauma of this disaster.”

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