Countries continue to pledge help for the millions of residents of Turkey and Syria.
Two major earthquakes hit the Turkish and Syrian border region on Monday. At this point, the death toll is reported to be over 11,500 as emergency responders continue to pull survivors from the rubble.
It’s been declared the deadliest earthquake the world has seen since 2011 – when 20,000 were killed in an earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The World Health Organization has warned that up to 23 million people may be affected. As a result, a variety of countries have pledged aid and international rescue teams have continued to arrive throughout the week.
For Canada, Minister of International Development, Harjit Sajjan, announced a $10 million humanitarian assistance package for the two countries on Tuesday, which he says will help provide emergency medical services, shelter, food and other essential supplies.
“We’re going to be there to help,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We announced $10 million in direct aid to help with immediate efforts, but I also know Canadians want to help as well. That’s why we’re announcing matching funds through the Red Cross up to $10 million.”
Minister Sajjan notes the government is also looking at deploying search and rescue teams, paramedics and additional emergency responders in the coming days. At this point, the feds are just waiting for an assessment from the United Nations.
“Canadians are deeply saddened by the loss of life and terrible destruction caused by the earthquakes,” says Sajjan.
“Our initial response will go toward meeting the immediate, most urgent needs of those impacted by these devastating events. We continue to look at ways we can support those affected during these difficult times.”
Residents can support response efforts in the region by donating to UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, as well as UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency.