WATCH: South Africa tops Africa in providing aid to quake-hit Turkey

Image: Supplied

Image: Supplied

Published Mar 6, 2023


South African non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have so far provided in-kind aid amounting to approximately 1.2 million dollars for those affected by the Kahramanmaraş-based earthquakes that occurred on 6 February.

Extending its hand of friendship to Turkey from at least 10 thousand kilometres away, the Republic of South Africa has become one of the countries sending the highest number of aid materials and search and rescue personnel from the African continent.

Consulate General of Turkey in Cape Town, Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) Turkish Cultural Centre in Johannesburg, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) Pretoria Office and white goods company Arçelik/DEFY's facilities in Durban, which were designated as aid collection centres, were overflowing with aid materials from South Africans.

-Over 100 tonnes of aid material from South Africa to Turkey-

Turkey's Ambassador to Pretoria Ayşegül Kandaş told AA correspondent that South Africa has been among the first countries to provide aid to Turkey since the first day of the earthquake and said: "On the very next day after the earthquakes, a 33-person health and search and rescue team travelled to Turkey. This was followed by another medical team of 20 people on 9 February."

Noting that South African NGOs such as Awqaf SA, Jamiatul Ulema and Al Imdaad collected approximately 1.2 million dollars of in-kind aid in the first three weeks within the scope of the aid campaigns they started immediately after the earthquakes, Kandaş said, "When individual aids were added, more than 100 tonnes of in-kind aid was delivered to Turkey with scheduled and weekly Turkish Airlines cargo flights."

Kandaş said that these in-kind aids included 860 tents, 239 generators, 116 mobile toilets, 69 beds, 3,304 sleeping bags, 6,255 blankets, 641 heaters, 46 mobile cookers and 4 tonnes of clothes.

-110 thousand dollars in cash aid-

Referring to the cash aids provided by South Africans and Turkish citizens living here, Kandaş said, "Approximately 110 thousand dollars in cash aid was provided to the official bank account opened by the Embassy within the scope of the earthquake aid mobilisation."

Noting that the South African government also provided 10 tonnes of medical supplies during this period, Kandaş said that the South African Police Service sent 5 K-9 dogs and a search and rescue team of 6 people to Turkey.

Kandaş pointed out that South Africans showed great interest in the book of condolence opened at the embassy and said:  "With the solidarity shown by the people of South Africa in these difficult days, the foundations of the heart bridges between the two nations that will live forever have been laid. This helping hand from 10 thousand kilometres away will undoubtedly strengthen the relations between the two countries and make a significant contribution in terms of humanitarian relations and our bond of heart. We are grateful to the South African government and people. We are grateful to our citizens living in South Africa."

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