Finland to grant additional support to earthquake areas in Türkiye and Syria
Finland will grant additional EUR 12 million in humanitarian assistance to help earthquake survivors in Türkiye and Syria. The support will be used to finance food aid, water services, emergency shelters and protection to those who lost their homes.
As a result of the disastrous earthquake on Monday, 6 February, and the subsequent aftershocks that shook southern Türkiye, more than 55,000 people have died and around 130,000 people have been injured in Türkiye and in north-western Syria. The earthquake struck in a region that is politically fragmented and controlled by many different groups. In addition, 4.1 million people in north-western Syria were already in need of humanitarian assistance.
“The earthquake’s impact on Türkiye has been massive, and there is still an acute need for emergency assistance. In north-western Syria, in areas controlled by the opposition, the need for humanitarian assistance was great even before the earthquake. The areas controlled by the Syrian Government, on the other hand, are struggling with devastating economic challenges. The additional support we now grant will be used to provide shelter, food and clean water to earthquake survivors as extensively as possible in different areas,” says the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
Finland will announce its additional support of EUR 12 million on Monday, 20 March, at the international donors’ conference Together for the people in Türkiye and Syria, where the Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will represent Finland. The conference will be held in Brussels by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Half of Finland’s support will be channelled to Türkiye through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the other half through the Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund (SCHF), which is a pooled fund of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The IFRC will use the collected funds to provide food, shelter, medical supplies and psychosocial support to people who lost their homes. The SCHF will deliver assistance from Türkiye across the border to Syria, ensuring that aid will reach also areas controlled by the opposition, across conflict lines. One of the key objectives of SCHF is to support the humanitarian work of local civil society organisations.
Finland granted EUR 1 million in response to the emergency appeal launched by the IFRC in February. In addition, Finland has supported the Finnish Red Cross in delivering material assistance to Türkiye and a mobile health clinic to Syria. Finland has provided expert assistance to the affected regions and channelled around EUR 2 million through the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) and NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC).
Lauratuulia Lehtinen, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 46 921 2030
Emmi Mäkelä, Special Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 473 6694
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