RIYADH, 10 February – The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) announced that as of Thursday evening, donations worth over SR145 million have been raised during the ongoing popular fundraising campaign to alleviate the suffering of the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.
“The Saudi teams are determined to deliver aid to those affected by the devastating earthquake despite the obstacles. The Saudi humanitarian assistance will reach the needy wherever they are,” KSRelief said in a statement carried by the Al-Arabiya channel.
Two planeloads of Saudi relief supplies have already arrived in Turkey and a third plane, carrying relief supplies, is ready to leave for Turkey, the KSRelief said adding that the Saudi relief mission is currently working on the ground in Turkey.
The Saudi popular campaign, launched by KSRelief on Wednesday, through the Sahem electronic platform, had raised SR80 million on the first day itself and the Saudi air bridge operation started dispatching relief supplies to Turkey and Syria. Specialized Saudi medical teams and rescue teams reached Adana Airport in the quake-hit Turkish region at dawn on Thursday.
The popular fundraising campaign was launched in implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, advisor at the Royal Court and general supervisor of the KSRelief, inaugurated the campaign at KSRelief headquarters in Riyadh. He said that the volume of donations collected even before the launch of the campaign amounted to more than SR13 million, and this embodies the commitment of the Saudi people and their response to succour the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.
The death toll from the quakes, which struck early on Monday morning, passed 19,000 on Thursday across both Turkey and Syria. That surpasses the more than 17,000 people killed in 1999 when a similarly powerful quake hit Turkey’s more densely populated northwest.
Cold, hunger, and despair gripped hundreds of thousands of people left homeless by earthquakes in Turkey and Syria on Thursday, while hopes faded of many more people being found alive amid the ruins of cities. Hundreds of thousands of people across both countries have been left homeless in the middle of winter. Many have camped out in makeshift shelters in supermarket car parks, mosques, roadsides, or amid the ruins, often desperate for food, water, and heat. — Saudi Gazette