Rescuers search through the rubble of a collapsed building for victims and survivors following a deadly earthquake that shook Syria at dawn on February 6, 2023 in Aleppo's Salaheddine district. / © AFP
Xavier Bettel and Jean Asselborn took to Twitter on Monday to express sympathy for victims of the earthquakes across Turkey and Syria, while Luxembourgish charities have been quick to set up donation appeals.
Luxembourg's Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs have joined other world leaders in offering their condolences to Turkey and Syria in the wake of the tragic earthquakes which struck the region on Monday, killing thousands.
In a Tweet, Bettel said Luxembourg stands in solidarity with the affected countries, while Asselborn, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offered his deepest condolences to the victims' families.
NATO, the UN and the WHO have already pledged assistance to Turkey and Syria, while a number of EU member states have mobilised search and rescue teams to support first responders on the ground. Ukraine, Russia, India and Great Britain have also promised to send emergency aid.
Luxembourg has also dispatched a specialist to work with a UN team in order to coordinate international rescue efforts and telecommunications for emergency services, said Paul Schroeder, the general director of the Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps.
Schroeder told RTL the Grand Duchy would not be sending rescue dogs, as due to international standard procedures, these are now integrated into larger rescue teams. In recent years, Luxembourg has instead opted to specialise in other niches, using small teams of experts for international efforts.
How to help from Luxembourg
A number of charitable associations have launched actions to support those affected by the earthquakes.
The Luxembourg Croix-Rouge (Red Cross) has launched an appeal for donations to help those left homeless in the wake of the disaster. It is common for temperatures to drop as low as -6° overnight in the Gaziantep region, where many will be sleeping rough over the coming days after their homes were destroyed. Details are as follows:
Reference: "Séisme Turquie/Syrie"
Account: CCP LU52 1111 0000 1111 0000
Caritas has held a presence in Syria for the past decade, recently distributing over 30,000 meals to people fleeing the war in November and December. Now, their situation is even more precarious. On Monday, Caritas announced it had already put aside €50,000 to go towards essential items such as food, blankets, medication and more. All donations collected will be used in both Syria and Turkey.
Reference: "Tremblement de terre"
Account: CCPL LU34 1111 0000 2020 0000
CARE Luxembourg has also launched an appeal for donations and has representatives in the region. Rami Araban described the catastrophic experience as follows:
"It was very scary and it just didn't stop. I thought the whole city was going to collapse. Currently I only have 13% battery left, there's no water and we are outside in the snow in freezing temperatures. People are crying. Everyone is afraid. For children and the elderly, the situation is particularly difficult. The aftershocks are very violent and everyone is afraid that the next building collapses, that's why no one dares to enter".
Details for donations are as follows:
Reference: Urgence Turquie/Syrie
Account: BCEE LU85 0019 2955 6050 3000
Teams from Médecins Sans Frontières have been deployed since the earthquake occurred, treating patients in hospitals in northern Syria, or distributing medical emergency kits in the region. MSF is in close contact with the authorities in north-eastern Syria and south Turkey in order to coordinate their efforts, said a representative of MSF Luxembourg.
To donate, check the MSF website for details, or use the account below:
Account: CCP LU751111000048480000
Unicef Luxembourg confirmed they were already active in Syria and ready to support victims in Turkey. Donations can be made on their website or via the details below:
Account: IBAN LU38 1111 0000 1818 0000 – BIC/SWIFT : CCPLLULL