Saudi Arabia among largest donors responding to Turkey earthquakes: UN

Saudi Arabia has been named one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to Turkey following the devastating earthquakes which left tens of thousands dead in one of the region’s deadliest ever disasters.

The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has thanked donors who contributed $268 million in response to the $1 billion humanitarian funding appeal for Turkey following the earthquakes, Saudi’s state news agency SPA reported Saturday.

OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke confirmed that the appeal has reached 27 percent of its target and the largest donors were Saudi Arabia, the United States, Kuwait, the European Commission, and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) provided the aid under the directives of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As well as financial aid, Saudi Arabia has provided tents, temporary housing, shelter materials, clothing, blankets, and mattresses.

Laerke also urged countries to continue to provide support and contribute to financing the appeal.

Nine million people were directly affected since the February 6 earthquake while three million people have been displaced. More than 50,000 people were killed in Turkey and neighboring Syria in the catastrophe.

Laerke said: “United Nations humanitarian agencies have reached more than 4.1 million people with non-food aid, and three million people with emergency food assistance, while more than 700,000 people have received support to improve their living quarters, including tents, relief housing units, and tents repair tools.”

He added that 1.6 million people received water and sanitation assistance and hygiene, and about 1 million liters of drinking water were delivered.

The UN official pointed out that the Turkish Ministry of Health has been supported with 4.6 million vaccine doses, and 16 mobile health clinics, in addition to medicines and medical supplies for reproductive health and treatment of trauma and injuries.

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