Finland, Sweden to send aid to earthquake-stricken Türkiye, Syria

HELSINKI/STOCKHOLM, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Finland and Sweden will send aid to earthquake-stricken Türkiye and Syria, the two governments have said on Tuesday.

Finland will send humanitarian assistance worth 1 million euros (1.07 million U.S. dollars) to the two affected countries through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release on Tuesday.

The money will be used to provide food, shelter, medical supplies and psychosocial support to people who lost their homes in the two countries.

The government of Sweden also said on Tuesday that it would send an additional 30 million Swedish kronor (2.8 million U.S. dollars) to the two countries. Of this sum, 20 million kronor will be distributed via the IFRC and the rest will be transferred to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). On Monday, Sweden already decided to send 7 million kronor to the affected countries.

"The scale of human distress is immense in the region, and the fear of aftershocks makes it worse," Finland's Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari said in the government's release.

"Finland wants to help quickly those affected by the disaster. Turkish and Syrian teams of the IFRC are already helping people on the ground, for example by providing meals and emergency shelters, and Finland supports their work."

The aid from Sweden will be spent on food, tents, blankets, blood and blood plasma, the country's Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell said.

According to the Finnish press release, the IFRC has launched emergency appeals for 70.6 million euros to support affected people in Türkiye and Syria.

Finland is also sending experts to Türkiye to assist in rescue and relief work, the release added. The experts will be deployed through the European Union's (EU) Civil Protection Mechanism.

The Swedish government has also decided to give the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) green light to contribute tents, food and generators within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Partnership for Peace international cooperation, Minister for Civil Defense Carl-Oskar Bohlin said. (1 euro = 1.07 U.S. dollar) (1 Swedish krona = 0.094 U.S. dollar)

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