The world has been horrified with the images and videos emerging from the earthquake that has struck Turkiye, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the region. Thousands have been killed with the death toll predicted to increase especially with the inclement weather conditions. Many thousands have been injured with the damage to infrastructure devastating. The earthquake is affecting some of the most vulnerable people in the world. More than four million Syrians who rely on immediate humanitarian aid live in the region, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Here are some ways that South Africans can assist through financial and other support.
Gift of the Givers
Gift of the Givers have teams on the ground in Syria and Turkey who were already providing assistance when the earthquake struck. They were contacted directly by the Turkish Ambassador to South Africa, Aysegul Kandas, and by the Consul General in Cape Town, Sinan Yesildag, to assist in this huge disaster. They will facilitate all the arrangements in Turkey. The South African Ambassador to Turkey, Dipou Letsatsi-Duba also requested their intervention. A team of medical, search and rescue teams left South Africa on February 7.
Those interested in assisting can message Dr Qasim Bhorat 0842307866 (medical) or Ahmed Bham 0735716392 (search and rescue).
Those wanting to assist financially can deposit into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account number 052137228, Branch Code 057525, ref Turkey.
Turkish Embassy in Pretoria
The Turkish Embassy in Pretoria has set up donation points in Gauteng for items that are desperately needed.
Drop-off point for donations of aid items:Yunus Emre Institute
1 Pretoria St Oaklands, Jhb
Contact no.: 071 444 2829
072 452 8648
Islamic Relief South Africa
The Islamic Relief teams in Turkiye and Syria are delivering urgent medical items to hospitals and clinics overwhelmed with casualties from the numerous earthquakes. They are also supplying food, mattresses, blankets and plastic sheets to shelters housing rescued and homeless survivors.
MSF Southern Africa
MSF Southern African and the other MSF teams have been responding in northern Syria since the early hours of the earthquake hitting. In Idlib in northern Syria, they are treating patients in their supported hospitals. Their teams have donated emergency medical kits to other facilities in the region. Donations are welcomed here: https://www.msf.org.za/donate
Donations can be made here.
South African journalist Riyaad Minty who works in Turkey has compiled a list of organisations and places to donate to.