Although there is still a minimal chance of finding survivors, the options are running out for rescue teams.Continue reading
Hungary has sent ten tons of relief supplies to Turkey to help cope with the difficult situation after the deadly earthquakes on February 6. The aid mainly includes equipment to help people find temporary shelter and medical care, and to get through the winter, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu in Ankara on Monday. Hungary is among the few countries supplying aid not only to Turkey but to Syria as well.
“When a brotherly people, a brotherly nation, gets into trouble, we are always concerned, and there was no question, no doubt at all, that we provided immediate assistance to Turkey,” the Hungarian Minister emphasized. He pointed out that in the first few days, everyone concentrated on saving human lives, and the best search and rescue teams from Hungary were deployed, with a total of 167 Hungarian experts working on the site with 29 dogs, eventually rescuing 35 survivors from under the rubble.
Péter Szijjártó said that after the rescue work, the most important thing now was to help those who had lost their homes, and that Hungary had loaded a military transport plane with equipment to help the victims in the current situation. The aid consists of medicine, camp beds, blankets, sleeping bags, and infusion devices. The Hungarian Minister also reported that discussions are underway to transfer additional medical equipment that could help with the increased demand for hospital care.
The Foreign Minister also spoke about the bilateral strategic partnership and cooperation between the two countries. According to him, Hungary’s energy security would not be realistic without Turkey, as the TurkStream pipeline covers a large part of Hungary’s gas consumption, and future diversification plans to include Azerbaijan are not viable without Turkey. He added that at the same time, negotiations have also started on the purchase of gas directly sold by Turkey.
Turkey was hit with a powerful earthquake in the early hours on February 6 with a magnitude of 7.8 On the same day, a severe aftershock followed with a magnitude of 7.4. Since then, several aftershocks have shaken the country, with another big tremor occurring yesterday with a magnitude of 5.2, causing further damage to houses. The earthquakes have affected the southern part of Turkey, and the northern part Syria. As a result, the number of victims has exceeded 50,000 in the two countries, with hundreds of thousands of people losing their homes.
Hungary offered help immediately after the earthquakes not only to Turkey but to Syria as well. The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has set up three mobile medical clinics in the earthquake-stricken Syrian settlements of Aleppo, and in the heavily damaged towns in the northern parts of the country with the support of HUF 50 million (EUR 132,000) from the Hungarian government.
The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta provides health, support services, and basic medical care to those in need for two months through the Hungary Helps Program. In Syria, the lack of capacity in the local social and support services is a further challenge for the affected population left without homes. Apart from that, a Syrian-Hungarian rescue team was working day and night to rescue people from the rubble.
The United Nations is providing humanitarian aid to Syria as well, but sometimes the transportation of the supplies is difficult in the war-torn country, especially getting it through the borders. It also does not help that the most affected parts in northern Syria are those that have been at the center of the civil war in recent years. Meanwhile, most of the countries are usually busy with helping Turkey and seem to forget about the fact that Syria is just as affected as Turkey, and the people there are in just as much need of aid and support.
Featured photo via Facebook/Péter Szijjártó