UAE volunteers pack more than 30,000 food parcels for Syria and Turkey

UAE volunteers pack more than 30,000 food parcels for Syria and Turkey

Follow the latest news on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The ‘Bridges of Goodness’ public donation campaign collected more than 30,000 food parcels and large quantities of winter clothes, blankets and other humanitarian needs for survivors of the earthquake.

More than 2,000 volunteers turned up on Saturday at the three centres in the UAE to help pack tens of thousands of urgent relief kits and food supplies to be sent to Syria and Turkey.

The Bridges of Goodness campaign was organised by the Emirates Red Crescent and supported by the Ministry of Community Development and charitable organisations such as Dubai Cares and Sharjah International Charity.

Volunteers gathered at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), the Dubai Exhibition Centre in the Dubai Expo City and in Sharjah next to Khalid Lake, to help pack urgent humanitarian aid which will be sent to quake-hit areas as part of UAE’s Operation Gallant Knight 2.

The UAE initiative, which is a part of wider humanitarian efforts that included sending field hospitals, relief aid and rescue teams to the affected areas, will continue for the next two weeks, said Hamoud Al Junaibi, ERC’s Secretary-General.

“This is to provide more humanitarian aid and improve UAE’s response for the benefit of those affected by the earthquake,” he said.

He said people can still donate through ERC’s banking services on the website and mobile phone applications, and by text messages and the authority’s toll-free phone number.

“In-kind donations are received at ERC’s centres across the country and its representatives in commercial centres, markets and various institutions,” he said.

The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria has risen above 33,000 and is expected to increase further.

As of Sunday night, the death toll stood at 29,605 people in Turkey and more than 3,500 in Syria, where tolls have not been updated for two days.

Turkey said about 80,000 people were in hospital, and more than one million in temporary shelters.

On Sunday, UN humanitarian aid co-ordinator Martin Griffiths said the death toll could reach at least 50,000.

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