A total of 89 million euros was collected in the Netherlands during its “National Day of Action Campaign” on Wednesday to help victims of last week’s earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing Deutsche Welle Turkish service.
Radio and television stations in the Netherlands announced the campaign during the day and called on people to donate for earthquake victims. In the evening, a live broadcast was attended by Dutch activists and celebrities, including Turkish-Dutch musician Karsu, who lost 10 family members in Hatay, where the earthquake hit the hardest.
A statement from the Giro555 relief organization, which led the campaign with the participation of other 11 nongovernmental organizations in the country, said the total amount of donations, which stood at 28.6 million euros before the live broadcast on Wednesday evening, had reached around 89 million euros by the end of the day.
In addition to its previous aid efforts, the Dutch government donated 10 million euros for earthquake victims during the broadcast.
The relief organizations announced that the money collected would be used to meet the basic needs of disaster victims in the earthquake zone, such as food, shelter and medical care, and that the bank account where the donations were collected will remain active.
Giro555 Chairman Michiel Servaes said the solidarity of the Dutch people with the quake victims was impressive but that there is still much to be done.
“Much more needs to be done, because most people are sleeping outside and need access to shelter and sanitation infrastructure as soon as possible. That’s why Dutch aid organizations are preparing for a major campaign,” Servaes said.
Turkey’s most powerful earthquake in almost 100 years, which struck near the city of Gaziantep in the early hours of February 6, has so far claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in Turkey in addition to injuring more than 100,000. Close to 220,000 disaster victims have been evacuated from the region to date, according to the latest official figures.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue efforts the same day.
Independent charity organizations and political parties conducting relief work have been facing increasing pressure from the government and are accused of equating themselves with the state since the deadly earthquakes hit Turkey.