UAE opens public donation drive for Turkey and Syria earthquake survivors

Donors can channel funds through the government's humanitarian arm, Emirates Red Crescent

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Follow the latest on the earthquake in Turkey

The UAE has launched a public donation campaign to support survivors of the earthquake that left a trail of destruction in Turkey and Syria.

Members of the public are being invited to provide financial assistance to those in need by using the website of Emirates Red Crescent, the humanitarian arm of the government, as part of the Bridges of Goodness campaign.

People have an option to donate to relief efforts in Syria and Turkey via PayPal, credit card, bank transfer or by text message.

The Emirates Red Crescent donation page is here.

People can also make financial pledges to the cause via the Sharjah Charity International website.

On social media the organisation said it was keen to stand in "solidarity with our brothers in Syria and Turkey who were affected by the earthquakes".

It is the latest step in a major UAE drive to support people caught up in a disaster that has now claimed more than 20,000 lives.

Up to 2,000 people are preparing to provide a helping hand by boxing up essential goods at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Dubai Exhibition Centre, at Expo City, from 9am until 2pm on Saturday.

It will mark the start of a two-week donation drive in the country.

A call was sent out earlier this week for people to volunteer on Saturday through the website.

Dubai Cares, a long-standing philanthropic organisation which is part of the campaign, said sufficient numbers of volunteers have already come forward for the Expo event.

The ERC had previously said it and partnering organisations will directly collect donations of cash and goods.

The effort is being supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and the Ministry of Community Development.

Other organisations involved include the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, the Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment.

UAE offers support

Two powerful earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday were followed by dozens of aftershocks.

Survivors whose homes were turned to rubble are facing harsh winter conditions.

A donation drive organised by Turkey's consulate in Dubai to support survivors extended to a third day because of the overwhelming response by the public, officials said.

Members of the public flocked to a collection point in Al Quoz on Tuesday and Wednesday to deliver essential supplies, including food, warm clothing and bedding.

Organisers expressed their thanks to all who have provided assistance to those in need.

A similar collection is being held at the Turkish embassy in Abu Dhabi this week.

Volunteers worked round the clock to pack the goods and prepare them for shipment to Turkey.

The UAE previously announced plans to send seven aid flights to help with search-and-rescue operations in Turkey and Syria.

President Sheikh Mohamed ordered $50 million in aid to be sent to support people in Turkey and the same sum to help those in Syria.

On Monday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, directed humanitarian aid worth Dh50 million ($13.6 million) through the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to help people in Syria.

Public steps up once more

In September, hundreds of people came together to pack thousands of relief kits and food supplies for people affected by floods in Pakistan.

By the end of the day, 1.2 tonnes of supplies were packed into 30,000 boxes by volunteers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

As part of the Stand Together community event, children wrote uplifting messages and made drawings. These were placed in the relief boxes to show solidarity with the people of Pakistan and offer hope during the crisis.

Updated: February 10, 2023, 9:31 AM