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Thursday, March 23, 2023

US pledges $85 million for Turkey and Syria earthquake relief.

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The US government’s top humanitarian agency has committed $85 million (£70 million) to emergency life-saving operations for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. Funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is for shelter, winter gear, food, water, and medical care. The move comes as countries around the world send search parties and aid to areas where more than 20,000 people died. Rescuers say supplies are needed now. USAID said in a statement Thursday that it is also providing sanitation and hygiene assistance to keep people safe and healthy.

The agency’s director, Samantha Power, has already deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (Dart), which is currently operating out of the Turkish cities of Adiyaman, Adana, and Ankara. The team consists of around 200 people, including disaster recovery experts, 159 searches and rescue personnel, and 12 dogs. The group has brought around 170,000lbs in equipment, including machines capable of moving rubble.US troops are also in the region to help shuttle supplies around by helicopter amid the widespread destruction of roads, USAID deputy director Isobel Coleman told CBS News on Thursday.

Governments around the world pledged to help aid and rescue teams following Monday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake. Canada promised her CAD 10 million (US$7.4 million, £6.1 million) and she offered to donate another CAD 10 million. Rescue teams have also been dispatched from India, Germany, South Korea, Israel, and many other countries.

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