Sharjah telethon raises Dh15.6m for Turkey-Syria earthquake relief efforts

Members of the public and businesses raise vital funds in only three hours

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More than Dh15 million was raised for earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria during a three-hour televised charity drive in Sharjah on Friday.

Members of the public and businesses alike pledged vital assistance to those affected by the devastating disaster at an event organised by Sharjah Charity International and the Big Heart Foundation in collaboration with Sharjah Broadcasting Authority.

The fundraiser was part of the Bridges of Giving campaign, launched last Friday by Emirates Red Crescent, the humanitarian arm of the UAE government.

It was held under the directive of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and chairwoman of the Big Heart Foundation.

The funds raised — which amounted to Dh15,649,140 — will be used to provide immediate relief to earthquake zones and to support sustainable development projects, including housing, healthcare services and education.

Money will also be allocated for rebuilding operations after the powerful earthquakes on February 6 and subsequent aftershocks left a trail of destruction in both countries.

The fundraising campaign will continue in the days to come.

“The recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria has resulted in a humanitarian crisis that has deeply impacted individuals across the globe,” said Mariam Al Hammadi, director of the Big Heart Foundation.

“This crisis is expected to have significant and lasting repercussions for several years to come, necessitating a comprehensive response that includes moral, emotional, and financial support.”

People can make donations via the websites of both the Big Heart Foundation and Sharjah Charity International. They can also call 050 5350 152 or 80014 or visit the main offices of both organisations to give in person.

In addition, members of the public can donate by using the Emirates Red Crescent website.

Donations can be made via PayPal, credit card, bank transfer or text message.

UAE support for Turkey and Syria — in pictures

Updated: February 17, 2023, 5:45 PM