The Charity Commission has issued advice on safe-giving to support the relief efforts in Turkey and Syria following the catastrophic earthquake of 6 February. Before donating people should check that the organisation to which they are giving is registered with the Charity Commission which can be done on their website.
The Government has pledged to match funds given to the UK’s Disaster Emergencies Committee up to a value of £5m.
The UK took swift action in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes sending a team of 77 search and rescue specialists, trained dogs and emergency medical team who are now working alongside Turkish and international partners.
The UK Government is providing tents, blankets, and hygiene kits to meet the needs of 15,000 people and other support totalling £8 million.
The UK-funded White Helmets (Syria Civil Defence) mobilised their response in Opposition-held North West Syria immediately. Since 2012, the White Helmets have developed significant capacity and experience on urban search and rescue, including rescue operations under collapsed buildings.
They have over 1,100 volunteers trained in advance search and rescue techniques. On 7 February, the UK announced an uplift of £800,000 to our existing support to the White Helmets, which will assist their ongoing emergency response operations.
This will build on the UK’s response to the Syria crisis since 2012, where – in committing £3.8 billion – the UK is the third largest bilateral donor.
British nationals in Turkey who require consular assistance can call the British Embassy on +90 312 455 3344 where consular officers are available 24 hours per day. British nationals in Turkey should also follow the information and advice of the local authorities and sign up for FCDO Travel Advice email alerts here.
12 million people (one in seven) in Turkey have been affected by the earthquakes and the focus on the Government of Turkey and international partners remains saving lives. Within Syria, Consular support is not available from the British government as all services of the British Embassy in Damascus are suspended and all diplomatic and consular staff have been withdrawn.
However, if a constituent needs to speak to a consular officer regarding any British national in Syria, call the FCDO in London on +44 (0)20 7008 5000.