(CTN NEWS) – ISTANBUL – John Kerry, the secretary of state for the United States, pledged an additional $100 million in relief to the region while touring one of the regions most severely affected by the earthquake that struck southern Turkey-Syria on February 6.
At the joint US-Turkish facility at Incirlik Air Base, which has coordinated the provision of disaster relief, Blinken remarked, “This will be a long-term effort.” The search and rescue effort has sadly come to an end.
The recovery process has started, and a significant reconstruction effort will follow.
Only days after the earthquake that killed over 44,000 people in Turkey and Syria, President Joseph Biden provided $85 million in help for those countries.
A search and rescue team, as well as medical supplies and equipment, have been despatched by the United States.
According to Blinken, the additional assistance comes from $50 million in humanitarian aid and another $50 million in emergency financing for migrants and refugees.
For the first time since taking office two years ago, the secretary of state is traveling to NATO partner Turkey.
After attending the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Sunday, Blinken traveled to Incirlik Air Base near Adana.
Blinken To Fly To Ankara
Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, flew through the Hatay area of Turkey. He was scheduled to speak with Turkish service members harmed by the earthquake and their families.
After returning from the helicopter trip, the top US ambassador stated, “It’s going to take a massive effort to repair when you see the amount of the destruction, the number of buildings, apartments, and homes that have been destroyed.”
Blinken said as troops nearby unloaded crates of aid, “The essential thing right now is to get support to people who need it, to get them through the winter and back on their feet.”
The 39th Air Base Wing of the U.S. Air Force is located in Incirlik, which has played a significant logistical role in the distribution of relief.
Goods from all over the world have been flown into the facility and given to those in need, including in far-off communities, via vehicle and helicopter.
Later on Sunday, Blinken is due to take a flight to Ankara, the capital of Turkey, where he will meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and hold meetings with Turkish authorities on Monday.
Blinken is anticipated to discuss the effects of the earthquake and the delays Turkey has caused in Sweden and Finland’s ambitions to join NATO.
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