International aid has started arriving in the earthquake-hit region of eastern Turkey, with more relief items being pledged in response to the Turkish government’s request for assistance, particularly for tents and other shelter materials.
U.N. agencies and members of the European Union have sent winter tents and other housing supplies for earthquake victims in some of the hardest-hit areas, where there is rising concern over access to safe water, lack of quality sanitation facilities and freezing nighttime temperatures.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it sent 400 family tents to the city of Erzurum while the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees sent 4,000 tents, 10,000 bed mats and 50,000 blankets. The U.N. Population Fund donated 250 tents.
The U.K. government, meanwhile, is providing 1,144 protective family tents, which will be flown from a warehouse in Dubai and distributed by the Department for International Development. U.K Home Secretary Theresa May said the government is prepared to boost its assistance as requested by Turkey.
Israel and Armenia have both dispatched airplanes carrying tents, sleeping bags, blankets and emergency relief supplies to cities affected by the magnitude-7.2 earthquake, which struck Oct. 23 (Sunday). More housing supplies came from Azerbaijan, which also sent 140 personnel to aid in the rescue and recovery operations.
Turkey initially decided not to seek international assistance but eventually appealed for aid due to concerns over a shortage of tents and housing materials for earthquake survivors.
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