New Zealand will provide $1.5 million worth of aid to Türkiye and Syria following devastating earthquakes that have affected both countries, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.
The contribution will be made to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies with $1m to be spent in Türkiye and $500,000 for Syria.
The aid will include essential relief items such as food supplies, tents and blankets and provide lifesaving medical assistance and psychological support, Mahuta said.
The minister said New Zealand was deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation each country had suffered.
The announcement comes in the wake of an appeal from the United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres who has called for an international response to the disaster.
Leaders from around the world have responded with offers of help, but the closure of airports makes getting aid into the area more challenging.
“We are playing our part in the global effort to support those at the centre of the devastation,” Mahuta said.
“By contributing directly to the IFRC appeals, emergency responders on the ground can benefit from additional assistance immediately.”
She said officials would continue to monitor the humanitarian needs and assess options for further support.
Other countries which have pledged to send aid include the US, China, the EU, India and South Korea.
The death toll is 3500 so far after a 7.8 magnitude quake struck near Gaziantep in the early hours of Monday while people were asleep.
A 7.5-magnitude tremor then hit at around 1.30pm local time, which officials said was “not an aftershock”.
There are fears many more have died.
-RNZ / BBC
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz