The Venezuelan government sent a humanitarian brigade to Turkey and Syria early this Wednesday (08) to help local authorities in rescue operations after an earthquake that hit the countries last Sunday and killed more than 11,000 people.
The Venezuelan group is made up of 52 specialists from the Civil Defense and Fire Department who joined the Simón Bolívar Humanitarian Task Force. In addition to the technicians, Caracas sent 22 tons of supplies for humanitarian aid, including medicine and food.
When announcing the sending of aid, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Yvan Gil, offered the Venezuelan government’s condolences to the victims and said that the country is ready to help in the best possible way.
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“We need to remember, especially in the case of the Syrian people, that it is a country subject to unilateral coercive measures. We take advantage of the moment to ask the international community to raise its voice so that the sanctions, as against Venezuela, are suspended,” he said.
The Minister of the Interior, Remigio Ceballos, said that the brigades are formed by “experts with extensive experience in emergencies and disasters, to offer help to our brother peoples”.
The plane carrying technical assistance and humanitarian aid from Venezuela must first land in Syria, where part of the supplies will be delivered and a group of firefighters will remain working in the country.
Then, in Turkey, the rest of the shipment will be distributed among those affected and the other teams will join the rescue groups working to assist those affected in the territory.
Turkey’s ambassador to Venezuela, Aydan Karamanoglu, thanked the Venezuelan action and said that the country will not forget “Venezuela’s solidarity and friendship in these difficult times”.
Last Sunday, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Turkey and Syria causing enormous material damage, in addition to the death of 11,200 people so far, according to the Turkish government.
As of Wednesday, 34,810 people had been injured and at least 3,700 buildings had been damaged in Turkey. In Syria, the main cities affected were Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho