UK emergency appeal for Türkiye earthquake disaster raises $63m in 48 hours
Updated 23:29, 12-Feb-2023
Kitty Logan

A UK emergency appeal for the victims of the horrific earthquake in Türkiye and Syria has raised over $63 million after just 48 hours.

The UK Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched the money raising effort which includes funds matched by the government and donations from members of the Royal Family. 

The money will go to 15 British charities responding to the crisis, providing hot meals, blankets, and medical aid for the hundreds of thousands left without shelter in freezing conditions after buildings collapsed. 

"We need people to give generously, because as important as the short-term needs are now, we know we're also going to have long term needs for people who have life-long injuries, who may have significant psychological issues, who may not be able to return to their livelihood," said Jeremy Smith, a British Red Cross aid worker.

Turkish communities in London have been collecting donated goods. /Kitty Logan
Turkish communities in London have been collecting donated goods. /Kitty Logan

Turkish communities in London have been collecting donated goods. /Kitty Logan

British rescue teams are already on the ground in Türkiye using state of the art equipment to search for survivors. 

"So far, we've rescued dozens of people," UK International Search and Rescue Team member Shyam Rana said. "But there are still lots more trapped. We can hear people screaming beneath the rubble. We're still working hard, around the clock to rescue as many people as we can."

Meanwhile, Turkish communities in London have been collecting donated goods for victims in their homeland. 

It is frantic work driven by the desperate situation evolving since the earthquakes struck. 


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"It's mainly clothes, baby food, baby nappies, blankets, jumpers, shoes, socks, because obviously over there it's very cold," said Selcuk Dinc from West London Turkish Volunteers. 

Out in the yard are boxes packed with aid are piled high, ready to be transported to Heathrow airport where they will be shipped out to Türkiye on dedicated charter flights. 

The group is coordinating with the Turkish Red Crescent, ensuring the goods are distributed to those who need it most. Before long, the community center became so crammed with goods, it stopped accepting donations. 

The focus now is on fundraising for a long and difficult recovery phase.

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