Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin, has announced €2m in emergency assistance to the people of Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquakes which struck the region on 6 February.
Within excess of 22,000 people now confirmed dead and many more fatalities expected, search and rescue operations are continuing amidst wide scale destruction, harsh winter conditions and loss of power. The €2m 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. The assistance will support immediate and urgent humanitarian needs on the ground.
The funds will be allocated to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the UN Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund. Ireland also provides pre-positioned funds to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which reacts rapidly and at scale when disasters happen. Ireland’s contribution to the CERF for 2023 amounts to €12.5m.
The EU has also announced that it will provide significant support to those affected across the region. Announcing an initial allocation of €2m to the IFRC and the UN to address the urgent and immediate humanitarian needs of those affected in the neighbouring countries, the Tánaiste said that the people of Northwest Syria already face enormous challenges due to the conflict and displacement. “Ireland has supported the Syria refugee response over many years, contributing €23m annually in support of the refugees and host countries across the region.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs is continuing to monitor the situation closely through Ireland’s embassies in Ankara and Cairo and is in close contact with UN and aid agency representatives on their response as the extent of the devastation and level of need becomes clearer.