How someone in Germany can help people in Turkey and Syria
Following the February 6 earthquake that hit southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, the death toll continues to rise in both countries. This is how the German government is helping those affected by the earthquake and how you can contribute.
What aid has Germany sent to Turkey and Syria already?
Since the earthquake struck the Turkish-Syrian border, the German government has delivered aid to Turkey and explained that it is in discussion with the United Nations about how to provide civilians in Syria with aid.
In the days following the earthquake, Germany sent a 50-person SSEBA international rapid recovery team along with 16 tonnes of supplies and technology to help emergency services in Turkey locate those trapped under rubble.
Employees of the German police have also been deployed to the region, including paramedics, doctors and a sniffer dog team. A further 40-person resume team from Germany’s International Search and Rescue Organisation has also travelled from North Rhine-Westphalia to the affected Hatay region.
Explaining the government’s next steps when it comes to aid, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that the state was “assembling further relief supplies of emergency generators, tents and tarpaulins in order to get started as quickly as possible. I have also offered Turkey the support of the [Federal Agency for Technical Relief], which can provide camps with emergency shelters and water treatment equipment.”
Help and advice for those directly affected by the earthquake
According to the Federal Foreign Office, there are around 3 million people of Turkish descent living in Germany. As such, many people have direct connection to those affected by the earthquake. If you know people in Turkey and cannot contact them, or your passport was lost in the earthquake and you are uncertain about how to get to Germany, the Federal Foreign Office answers these, and more questions, here.
The German government has also outlined plans to hand out three-month emergency visas to Turkish and Syrian people who have family already living in Germany. The German language skills requirements, which usually apply for the visa, will not be required in these circumstances.
Where to donate to help those affected by the earthquake
There are a number of aid organisations which people in Germany can donate to, to support the victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. These include Aktion Deutschland Hilft, the German Red Cross or Ärzte der Welt.
Many people in German cities and towns have already donated clothing to local collections. Speaking to The Local, Kübra Oguz, who volunteers with Puduhepa e.V, recommended that eager donors concentrate their efforts on giving financial support so that aid can be spent on what is urgently needed.
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