ANPE A collapsed building in the Turkish province of Hatay
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 09:37
The Giro555 fundraising campaign for the victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has been extended until December 31. The end date was previously set at the end of August, but due to the scale of the disaster, the collaborating aid organizations have decided to keep the giro number open longer.
In early February, southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria were hit by earthquakes that caused widespread destruction. It is estimated that more than 50,000 people were killed. The eleven aid organizations behind Giro555 immediately started a fundraising campaign, initially to provide emergency aid such as temporary shelter, drinking water and clean toilets.
After two weeks, more than 108 million euros had been raised. According to the latest interim figure, from July 31, that amount has risen to 124.5 million. Just over a quarter of this has now been spent on emergency aid, approximately equally divided between both affected countries.
The fundraising campaign will close at the end of this year, but the relief operation in the affected areas will continue for more than a year longer, until March 2025. According to campaign chairman Michiel Servaes, the operation is on schedule, but the situation is still worrying, with a possible harsh winter on the way. .
The difficulty in providing relief remains the enormous expanse of the disaster area, says Servaes. Furthermore, high inflation in both countries is causing food and aid prices to rise rapidly, and in Syria large groups of people have been fleeing the civil war for years.
“We will continue to provide emergency aid, but we will also focus on the next phase,” says Servaes. In the near future, more emphasis will be placed on the reconstruction and future prospects of the disaster area. “Then we work, for example, on repairing hospitals and schools. Or on investing in the economy so that it can flourish again.”