Wellington: New Zealand will immediately provide humanitarian support to those affected by the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said on Tuesday.
“New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by these earthquakes,” she said.
The New Zealand government is making an initial contribution of NZ$1.5 million ($950,000) to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) responses in both the countries where nearly 5,000 people have lost their lives.
“Our humanitarian contribution will support teams from the Turkish Red Crescent and Syrian Arab Red Crescent to deliver essential relief items such as food supplies, tents and blankets, and provide lifesaving medical assistance and psychological support,” Mahuta said.
“Officials will continue to monitor the humanitarian needs and assess options for further support,” she said.
Through the IFRC, NZ$1 million NZ dollars will go to support the response in Turkey and NZ$500,00 to Syria, Mahuta added.
As of Tuesday, the overall death toll in the two countries stood at 4,940 as local rescuers are battling harsh winter conditions to search for survivors under the rubble.
Monday’s powerful quake was also felt in Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus.
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