AmeriCares Relief Effort in Turkey: Update 23 Nov 1999

News and Press Release
Originally published
Situation: Another powerful earthquake struck northwestern Turkey on Friday, November 12, killing at least 600 and injuring thousands. The magnitude-7.2 jolt was centered in the province of Bolu, a region halfway between Istanbul and the capital Ankara. The latest quake came just three months after the magnitude-7.4 earthquake of August 17th, which killed 17,000 people, injured an additional 44,000, and left over 600,000 homeless. According to Turkish Minister Enis Oksuz, Turkey incurred as much as $10 billion in damages from the latest disaster- on top of an estimated $12 billion from the August quake. As winter approaches, the relief effort focuses on housing the thousands of earthquake survivors without shelter.
Response: AmeriCares personnel arrived immediately in Turkey to assess the damage from the latest quake. Final word from Turkish officials will determine when and how much relief supplies are needed. 200 winterized tents have been purchased to shelter those left homeless by the latest quake in Bolu, as AmeriCares personnel locate a housing in the region.

AmeriCares has established three long-term housing facilities to shelter those left homeless by the devastating quake of August. On November 8, AmeriCares partnered with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to deliver 275 all-weather tents. The tents, fully insulated and equipped with wooden floors, heating and electricity, now provide warm housing for approximately 2,200 of Turkey's displaced population in Yalova. Sikorsky generously donated the transportation associated with this delivery. A tent city for 1,500 people is also operational in Adapazari. Electricity and running water supply the 25,000 square meter compound, which includes 200 tents and an on-site dining facility. The construction of a third, more permanent housing complex in Korfez, west-northwest of Izmit, is now complete. Its 216 pre-fabricated units, each furnished with central heating and plumbing, provide housing for over 1,700 people. A dining facility, community center, medical clinic and athletic field are also on the premises. AmeriCares fully supplies the clinic with cots, exam tables, medicines and medical supplies, and medical personnel is on hand 24 hours a day.

Since the devastating earthquake in August, AmeriCares has delivered approximately 275,000 pounds of relief supplies to Turkey. An initial airlift with 90,000 pounds of antibiotics, blankets, bandaging and casting materials and nutritional supplements, landed at Yesilcoy Airport in Istanbul on Sunday, August 22nd. Upon arrival, the relief supplies were immediately delivered to hospitals and clinics in the most devastated areas. AmeriCares delivered an additional 86,000 pounds of blankets, cots, generators, antibiotics and nutritional supplements on the 28th of August, which were used to supply AmeriCares' housing projects.

Credentials: AmeriCares has delivered more than $2,000,000 in assistance to the people of Turkey since 1992. We are registered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (License #A0275), and we are a licensed drug wholesaler. We are also a licensed DEA Exporter (License #RA0178170). AmeriCares solicits donations of medicines, medical supplies, and other relief materials from manufacturers, and delivers them quickly and reliably to indigenous health and welfare professionals in 130 countries around the world. Financial contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations are used to defray the cost of AmeriCares' programs. Every dollar donated to AmeriCares is leveraged to deliver $23.50 worth of aid to individuals in need. Since 1982, AmeriCares has maintained an operating overhead that is less than 2%.

AmeriCares is the world's largest private nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs-- and supports long-term healthcare programs-- for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion.

Thousands of earthquake survivors in Turkey need our help. Please help us to continue our relief efforts by sending your cash donations to AmeriCares, 161 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 or by calling AmeriCares at 1.800.486.HELP.