EARTHQUAKE survivors in Turkey and Syria will receive thousands of pounds of relief aid thanks to Warwickshire Freemasons.
The county’s Freemasons went out collecting donations as soon as the news of the devastating earthquake hit and have raised £9,000. This will be added to the cash pot from Freemasons across the country amounting to £60,000.
The cash will be used by the British Red Cross, UNHCR and UNICEF who are leading the relief effort on the ground.
More than 16,000 people are confirmed to have died in the two quakes which have devastated large areas of south west Turkey and across the border in Syria. The death toll is certain to rise significantly as more bodies are found.
Tens of thousands of survivors are sleeping in the open in temperatures which have fallen well below zero. Snow is falling in some parts as the region experiences colder than average winter weather that is also hampering rescue efforts.
Damage from the quake has affected at least seven provinces in Turkey as well as across northwest Syria. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, displacing families, and schools, hospitals, and other medical and educational facilities will have been damaged or destroyed by the quakes. Potential damage to roads and critical infrastructure will also complicate search and rescue efforts and the wider humanitarian response.
The grant comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Luke Tredget, Head of Emergencies from the British Red Cross, said: “We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow us to provide immediate emergency relief to people who are in desperate need. This disaster has devastated vast areas of both countries and left millions of people in urgent need of help.”
Philip Hall, Head of Warwickshire Freemasons, added: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the Red Cross, UNICEF and the UNHCR with their relief effort following this terrible earthquake. Many thousands of people are in very urgent need of assistance and I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of the Freemasons in Warwickshire who have responded quickly to provide essential support to charities on the ground working with survivors.”