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US Announces $100 Million in Earthquake Relief for Turkey and Syria

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced $100 million in disaster relief aid for Turkey and Syria, bringing total American aid to $185 million after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed over 46,000 people.

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced $100 million in disaster relief aid for Turkey and Syria in response to the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has claimed the lives of over 46,000 people.

Blinken's Tour of Hardest-Hit Areas

Blinken took a helicopter tour of some of the most affected areas with Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. He described the devastation as "really hard to put into words" but affirmed the US's commitment to stand with the people of Turkey and Syria.

Breakdown of Funding

The new funding includes $50 million under the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Funds for emergency response efforts and an additional $50 million in humanitarian assistance through the State Department and USAID. American assistance has now reached $185 million, with private US NGOs contributing an additional $66 million.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Antony Blinken
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Antony Blinken

Immediate Response to the Earthquake

Blinken emphasized that the US and other countries sprang into action immediately after the earthquake hit. He acknowledged the challenges of retrieval efforts due to harsh winter conditions and the logistics of transporting aid into northwestern Syria. Still, he pledged that the US would do everything possible to assist.

No Impact on Sanctions for Humanitarian Aid

Blinken reassured that the US sanctions against Syria will not affect the provision of humanitarian assistance and that they will clear any doubts to ensure that aid reaches those in need.

Focus on Rebuilding Efforts

The US is committed to supporting Turkey in the rebuilding effort, with the most pressing priority being to provide aid to those in need and help them get back on their feet. Blinken acknowledged that the rescue effort is, unfortunately, coming to an end but noted that rebuilding would take a massive effort.