S’pore Red Cross raises over $1m in two days to help victims of quake in Turkey, Syria

SINGAPORE – More than $1 million has been raised by the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) since Wednesday to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on Monday is one of the deadliest in this decade, resulting in thousands of buildings crumbling to dust and over 21,000 dead. It occurred in the early hours of the morning, when many were crushed by rubble or trapped as they slept.

Said Mr Benjamin William, SRC’s chief executive and secretary-general: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and injury, as well as damage to property and livelihoods arising from the devastating disaster, and are committed to supporting the emergency relief and recovery operations.”

The Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF) raised over $400,000 within the first 20 hours of launching its public appeal for donations.

The Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief Initiatives (Singapore) raised about $158,000 within the Catholic community by Friday evening. It aims to raise $300,000 for Caritas national organisations helping quake victims on the ground.

World Vision Singapore, which doubled its pledge to $200,000 for immediate relief supplies, has raised over $70,000 so far from its online campaign launched on Friday.

“We are appealing for donations so that our teams can provide immediate relief items like fuel to medical facilities and collective emergency shelters, food and other items such as tents, blankets and heaters to the survivors of the earthquake,” says Ms Lilian Chung, the organisation’s national director.

Singapore disaster relief agency Mercy Relief has raised about $40,000 so far from its online fundraiser launched on Friday.

News of the tragedy has sparked an outpouring of support from people in Singapore, with many donating items such as winter clothes, tents and mattresses.

The Turkish embassy here has temporarily stopped accepting in-kind donations for victims due to overwhelming response.

Social media images showed snaking queues of donors on Thursday morning with bags at the lobby of SGX Centre, where the embassy is located.

Later that day, the embassy directed donors to a collection point at 10 Genting Lane after its office ran out of space. It has also called for volunteers to help sort and pack the items dropped off there.


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