Secretary of State Blinken to increase US aid following visit to quake-hit region

Washington DC - The United States is to increase its aid to the quake-hit region in southern Turkey and northern Syria from $100 million to $185 million, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced as he visited the region on Sunday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the quake-hit region on Sunday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the quake-hit region on Sunday.  © Collage: REUTERS / Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP

"This humanitarian assistance will target vulnerable earthquake-affected populations in Türkiye and Syria and be available to support international and non-governmental organizations providing assistance," a statement from the State Department said.

It listed items such as blankets, mattresses, food packs, warm clothing, tents, and shelter materials, along with medicine and health services, clean water, and sanitation efforts.

It also gave special mention to "supporting the education of children and youth impacted by this tragic earthquake."

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After arriving at Incirlik airbase, where US military planes are stationed, Blinken went on a helicopter tour of the quake-hit Hatay Province in the company of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu. He was also to meet members of the victims' families at Incirlik.

The visit was Blinken's first to US NATO ally Turkey since he took office more than two years ago.

Incirlik has been used as a staging post for US and other aid. US helicopters have been used to provide access to otherwise inaccessible quake-hit areas.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS / Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP

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