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Turkey and Syria quake: Nations extend support and aid

REUTERS/Firas Makdesi
A man stands amidst the debris as the search for survivors continues in the aftermath of the earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, on February 7, 2023.

Governments and international organisations from around the world have responded with offers of support after an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Turkey and northwest Syria.

Below is a list of some of those announcements of support:


The UAE said it would set up a field hospital in Turkey and dispatch search and rescue teams to Turkey and Syria. It said it would provide urgent relief to Syria’s hardest-hit areas.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia ordered an air bridge to provide aid and organised a campaign through its “Sahem” platform to help in Turkey and Syria.


The government said it was operating relief flights to Turkey to transport search and rescue teams along with vehicles, a field hospital, tents and other supplies, Qatar’s state news agency reported.

Qatar-funded Qatar Charity said it was distributing 27,000 hot meals in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, where it has an office, and is supplying relief items to shelters in Turkey and Syria. The group allocated $6 million for the first stages of its response.


Iraq said it would send civil defence teams to Turkey and Syria with emergency aid and relief supplies.

United States

Two US Agency for International Development teams each comprised of about 80 people plus search-and-rescue dogs, will arrive in Turkey on Wednesday and head to the southeastern province of Adiyaman to focus on search and rescue, said a USAID disaster assistance response team leader, Stephen Allen.


A Chinese earthquake rescue team sent by China arrived in Turkey’s Adana on Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV reported. The team of 82 members and four search dogs, brought 20 tonnes of supplies and equipment. Rescue teams from several provinces were also on the way, CCTV said.


Two teams from India’s national disaster response force of 100 personnel with dogs and equipment were ready to be flown in. Medical teams were being readied and relief material was being sent in coordination with Turkish authorities.


Japan has sent 73 rescue personnel to Turkey with equipment such as life detectors, drills, portable generators, medical kits and food.


The government said 76 British search and rescue specialists with four search dogs and rescue equipment had been sent to Turkey and a British emergency medical team would assess the situation.


Spain was sending an A400 military plane with firefighters and equipment, along with an Airbus A330 with civil defence staff to work with rescuers. Spain also sent two warships, Juan Carlos I and Galicia, towards Turkey with aid and 500 marines.


Pakistan said it was sending two C-130 planes with relief supplies and 36 search and rescue personnel.

The Vatican and Italy’s Catholic Church

Pope Francis has sent a telegram offering his “heartfelt condolences” after earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

The Italian Roman Catholic Church allocated €500,000 ($537,800) for emergency aid.


Interior minister Nancy Faeser said the federal civil protection agency could provide camps with emergency shelters and water treatment units and that it was preparing relief supplies with emergency generators, tents and blankets, in coordination with the Turkish authorities. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised more support.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged C$10 million ($7.5 million) in immediate aid to Turkey and Syria, and said Canada would continue to provide support as the situation evolved.


Australia said it would provide A$10 million ($7 million) in aid and deploy an urban search and rescue team of up to 72 people to Turkey, with the aim to have boots on the ground by the end of the week.

UN World Health Organization

The WHO said its network of emergency medical teams had been activated to provide essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable.


Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Italy’s Civil Protection was standing by to contribute support and provide first aid.


Poland will send rescue group HUSAR consisting of 76 firemen and eight rescue dogs, a government minister said.

European Union

European commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarčič said the EU’s 24/7 Emergency response coordination centre had contacted Turkish authorities and had activated its emergency copernicus satellite mapping service to help first responders.


Taiwan’s fire department said a team of 40 rescuers along with three rescue dogs and four to five tonnes of aid had been se to Turkey. It earlier said it was ready to offer a team 130 people, along with five search dogs and 13 tonnes of aid, and was awaiting Turkey’s response.


President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine was ready to send support. “We are in this moment close to the friendly Turkish people, ready to provide the necessary assistance,” he said.


Russia’s emergencies ministry said two IL-76 aircraft with 100 rescuers were ready to fly out to Turkey if required.

President Vladimir Putin sent messages to Turkey and to Syria, where Russian troops have been supporting the Syrian military, expressing condolences to the presidents of both nations and offering support.


Greek Prime Minister Kyrikos Mitsotakis offered condolences and support to Turkey, saying Greece was mobilising its resources and would assist immediately.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said all authorities had been instructed to make immediate preparations to provide medical, and search and rescue assistance.

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

NRC is assessing the situation in order to provide direct support to those most affected across Syria. A massive scale up is needed and our organisation will be part of it, said the group’s Middle East regional director, who also appealed for more international support for Syria and Turkey.


Switzerland has sent about 80 Swiss Rescue experts and eight search dogs to Turkey. The rescue team includes disaster response specialists from the Swiss military.


Finland said rescue experts would be sent to Turkey as part of EU aid.