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Canadian Red Cross launches appeal to help people in Turkey and Syria after earthquake

(From the files of Brendan Pawliw staff)

The Canadian Red Cross says if BC residents want to help those impacted by the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria, financial donations are the best option.

The magnitude 7.8 quake has claimed over 11-thousand lives up to this point.

Breanne England is the Head of the Region for the Middle East and North Africa.

She told Vista Radio the aftermath is eye-opening and there are lots of boots on the ground assisting with recovery efforts.

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“This is a catastrophic earthquake that has hit this region, which has not been seen in over 100 years. What we are seeing are people who are still caught in the rubble, we’ve just reached the 48-hour mark, which means we are trying for recovery and our rescue operations will be our first priority.”

She added the current crisis is about more than just an earthquake.

“People don’t have the ability to cook a meal for themselves and of course, there are the psycho-social impacts they have just endured. If I could share what is important – it’s not just an earthquake or multiple earthquakes in this case. People who are affected have been dealing with 10 to 12 years of conflict.”

“If you can imagine, you’ve been displaced from your home and potentially all the buildings have been completely destroyed. You are literally out on the streets and during the evening, temperatures are going down to minus five with snow and rain, which is unfavorable and not normal for these locations,” added England.

England has been traveling to Syria and Turkey for the past decade and says the needs now are greater than they once were when the conflict between the two countries first started.

“90% of the people who live in Syria live below the poverty line. They have experienced conflict and now they have these devastating earthquakes on top of it. For those in Turkey and those who have either accepted Syrians into the community over the years or Syrians who have fled the country and into Turkey for safety. Now they are experiencing the  circle.”

If you wish to donate, click here.

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