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Ireland sends largest ever airlift of emergency items to Türkiye and Syria

Ireland sends largest ever airlift of emergency items to Türkiye and Syria

100 Tonnes of Ireland's emergency relief supplies leave a depot in Dubai for the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, T.D., has today announced the airlift of over 100 tonnes of relief supplies from Ireland’s emergency stocks for the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria.

This airlift is worth over €800,000 and consists of 700 tents, 9,000 thermal blankets, 3,000 solar lamps, 3,000 hygiene kits, 3,000 kitchen sets and 3,000 water jerry cans. The items will be distributed by Irish Aid partners, Concern and Goal, who aim to reach 42,000 people in the affected regions. The airlift left the UN's Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai this afternoon and will arrive in Adana in Türkiye, from where it will be brought onwards to affected areas.

Ireland is also preparing an additional airlift of emergency relief items for Northwest Syria. This is being coordinated through the International Organisation for Migration and in cooperation with the EU. The first airlift is expected on Saturday, with a further airlift planned for next week.

Announcing the airlifts, the Tánaiste said:

“This is the largest ever deployment of emergency stocks under Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, which is a reflection of the scale of devastation in Türkiye and Syria. The death toll continues to rise, and hundreds of thousands are grieving for loved ones while enduring unbearable conditions. Many survivors are sleeping in cars or makeshift shelters in sub-zero temperatures. These emergency items from Ireland’s prepositioned stocks will provide immediate support, meeting vital shelter, water, and hygiene needs."

“This airlift complements Ireland’s financial recently announced assistance to Irish NGOs, the Syrian Cross Border Fund, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.”

Minister of State for International Development and the Diaspora, Seán Fleming T.D., added:

“It is difficult to comprehend the scale of destruction, and the plight of survivors – many of whom have lost their families, their homes and all their possessions in a single night.”

“This airlift highlights the value of Ireland having prepositioned emergency supplies, so we can respond quickly when a disaster occurs. It is also a perfect example of international cooperation. The close coordination and strong partnerships between the Irish government, our UN partners, the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), and Ireland’s NGO partners, have made this airlift possible today.”

These stock deployments are part of Ireland’s €10 million allocation in response to the earthquakes. In addition to the stocks, Ireland’s response includes funding to the United Nations Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Irish Non-Governmental Organisations working on the ground. The focus will be on the provision of cash assistance, emergency non-food items and shelter.

Notes to editors

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see irishaid.ie
  • The Rapid Response Initiative was established in 2006 as a central feature of Ireland’s overseas humanitarian assistance programme. The Initiative is designed to contribute to Ireland’s overarching humanitarian goal of saving and protecting lives in crisis situations. It has two elements - the deployment of highly-skilled personnel to UN agencies during crises, and the deployment of emergency relief supplies.
  • Under the Rapid Response Initiative, Ireland pre-positions emergency and humanitarian relief items around the world. We stockpile in UN Humanitarian Response Depots (UNHRD) which are strategically located near disaster and crisis prone areas. Ireland’s stocks are located in Dubai (UAE) and Brindisi (Italy). UNHRD not only procures and stores Ireland’s stocks but also arranges for their packaging and transport to the crisis affected country. Stockpiling relief items allows Ireland to obtain lower prices through economies of scale, with prices agreed and purchases finalised before a crisis strikes. It also facilitates faster delivery of stocks into crises, and shared and lower transport costs.
  • ECHO is the European Commission's Department for Overseas Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, formerly known as the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO). It provides needs-based humanitarian assistance to communities hit by man-made and natural disasters in over 110 countries. Part of Ireland’s emergency stocks will be moved in cooperation with ECHO, through the European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC). The EHRC is an EU initiative designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian response to sudden-onset natural hazards and human-induced disasters.

Press Office
16 February 2023


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