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The Turkish Red Crescent gives a lifeline to earthquake victims in western Turkey

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The Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay), which contacted victims of last month’s deadly earthquake in the western province of Izmir, will continue its work in the area until the survivors are transferred to the new housing being built for them.

The Red Crescent deployed nearly 300 people in the wake of the disaster, which killed 116 people and destroyed buildings. The charity provides hot meals and relief items to people forced to live in tents since their homes collapsed or became uninhabitable.

The president of the charity, Dr Karim Kinnik, told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday that tangible aid is more important to survivors than cash donations. In the aftermath of the 6.6-magnitude earthquake, the Turkish Red Crescent set up a crisis office in Izmir, and volunteers were dispatched from all over the country to the province. The charity has the ability to deliver meals to at least 60,000 people. Along with help to help survivors deal with the fallout, the charity is focusing on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, as survivors are at risk of infection. More than 12,000 hygiene kits, more than 144,000 masks and thousands of disinfectant packages were delivered to survivors.

At 51 locations, the charity is feeding thousands with its mobile kitchens. Since the October 30 earthquake, it has delivered 260,127 food packages to earthquake victims.

The charity’s volunteers also provide psychosocial support to reduce the impact of the disaster on the survivors. Volunteer Trauma Experts have reached 1,897 survivors so far, and have visited them in their tents to help them cope.

Kınık says their efforts focus on people residing in temporary accommodations provided by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). “We are also coordinating the logistics of aid items sent to the area,” said Kennick, adding that about 10,000 families have also taken advantage of prepaid shopping cards to allow them to purchase the supplies they need from grocery stores.

The disaster struck a densely populated area. Besides its losses in the population, it has affected the social and economic life of Izmir. It will take people more than a year to fully recover from their losses. Until then, their needs must be covered. First, they need to get psychological support so that they don’t feel lonely. They must be supported so that they can safely move into new housing that will be built for them. Survivors will move into prefabricated tent housing units this week as the government prepares to start building new homes soon.

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