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Earthquake: Washington announces $85 million in aid for Turkey and Syria

Earthquake: Washington announces $85 million in aid to Turkey and Turkey ; Syria


The United States will provide $85 million in aid to Turkey and Syria, the United States Development Agency (USAID) announced on Thursday, after the devastating earthquake that struck both country monday. 

USAID said in a statement that the funding would go to partners on the ground “to provide urgently needed assistance to millions of people” including food and health care.

Aid is also expected to support clean water supplies and prevent the spread of disease, the agency said.

The announcement comes after a call earlier Thursday between the chief of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, and his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to discuss the needs of this ally, a member of NATO.

“We are proud to join the global campaign to help Turkey, as Turkey has so often sent its own relief experts to so many countries in the past,” the Department of Defense spokesman told reporters. 'US State, Ned Price. 

The United States has already sent rescue teams to Turkey and provided jackhammers, electricity generators, water purification systems water and helicopters, officials said.

USAID says rescue teams are focusing their efforts on the quake-hit town of Adiyaman, searching for survivors using dogs, cameras and listening devices.

Due to damage to roads and bridges, the Pentagon sent Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters to transfer the supplies, USAID said.

Aid in Syria is channeled through local partners, with the United States refusing any contact with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, due to his suppression of the popular uprising against the regime, which degenerated into a civil war.

A first aid convoy entered rebel areas in northwest Syria on Thursday, for the first time since the disaster.

Before the earthquake, almost all of the Crucial humanitarian aid for more than 4 million people living in rebel areas of northwestern Syria was flowing from Turkey through the Bab al-Hawa crossing point. Thanks to a cross-border mechanism created in 2014 by a UN Security Council resolution and contested by Damascus and Moscow, close allies of Bashar al-Assad, who denounce a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

“We urge [Bashar al-Assad's] regime to immediately allow the entry of aid at all border crossings and allow humanitarian [organizations] access to all Syrians in need, without exception,” said spokesman Ned Price.

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