One Country’s Humanitarian Response: A look at India’s Aid for Turkey during the earthquake | HTL
27 February 2023
One Country’s Humanitarian Response: A look at India’s Aid for Turkey during the earthquake
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When the whole world was brought to shock by the devastating news of the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria on the 6th of February, India’s approach to help Turkey and Syria remains a manifestation of its policy of the relationship with the middle east.

The Indian Government initiated the project ‘Operation Dost’, where India is sending search and rescue teams, a field hospital, materials, medicines, and equipment to Turkey and Syria. An article from the Mint News says ‘According to the Health Ministry, India has sent around 7 crores worth of life-saving medicines and critical care medical equipment.’

India’s decision to send rescue teams to assist with earthquake assistance is timely, desperately needed, and a demonstration of “genuine friendship,” said envoys from Turkey and Syria.

Image by Free Press Journal

Turkish Ambassador Firat Sunel said, “The first 24 to 48 hours following a disaster of these proportions are the most crucial because there is still a chance that we can find and save as many people trapped in the rubble as possible. India’s offer of assistance at this critical time including the dispatch of around 100 search and rescue experts and dog squads, is very welcome and timely.”

Firat Sunel also mentioned a Turkish proverb, “Dost kara gunde belli olur”, which means “A friend in need is indeed a friend” showing his gratitude to India.

The current situation in Turkey and Syria

Teams of search and rescue professionals from all around the world are now primarily focusing on recovery activities after searching desperately for new survivors for almost two weeks. According to reports, there have been around 87,000 injured and 47,000 damaged or destroyed buildings.

Moments of excitement and hope include the 52-hour-later rescue on February 8 of 8-year-old Yigit from the rubble of a collapsed building in Turkey and the 248-hour-later rescue of 17-year-old Aleyna. Crowds in Syria have cheered as youngsters who had been trapped under rubble for days have been rescued and are now safe.

The places where the deadly Earthquake struck in Turkey and Syria

In Turkey – At least ten Turkish provinces were affected by the earthquake, including Adana, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Malatya, and Sanliurfa. The region serves as a major location for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that conduct cross-border humanitarian activities to assist Syrians.

In Syria – Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, and Idlib were particularly hard impacted; numerous structures were reported to have been destroyed. One of the worst impacted locations was Aleppo, which had previously been devastated by civil war and had more than 4 million residents who needed humanitarian relief.

The steps were taken by India to assist Turkey and Syria during the Earthquake

India provided further shipments of life-saving medications and relief supplies for earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey on Saturday onboard a C-17 military transport plane. This was the 7th Operation-Dost flight that was sent by the Indian government.

Additionally, India supplied aid to Syria aboard a C-130J aircraft of the Indian Air Force. According to officials, the airplane that departed on Saturday evening is first going to the capital of Syria, Damascus, where it will unload the relief supplies before continuing on to Adana in Turkey.

Conclusion

Earthquakes or any natural disasters will take only a few minutes to occur but the loss created by it can take many months to rebuild what they have lost. Sometimes, some losses can not even be replaced.

Even though natural calamities can be terrible and overwhelming, assistance and support from other nations can make a big impact in rebuilding what a country has lost.

The humanitarian aid of one nation assisting another after an earthquake serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and adaptability of the human spirit.

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