KUALA LUMPUR: A coalition of 23 Malaysian and Indonesian humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are targetting to collect RM3 million to aid victims of the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria.

Among the agencies involved in the NGO coalition of the humanitarian mission are Malaysia For Syria; Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia; Muslim Volunteer Malaysia (MVM); Hayrat Relief Malaysia; Impactive Malaysia; Cinta Syria Malaysia; DT Peduli Indonesia; Asar Humanity Indonesia dan Childrity.

Malaysia for Syria chief executive officer Syahrir Azfar Saleh who is representing coalition said the joint venture involving both countries was to ensure that the aid provided was large-scale, has a positive impact on the Turkish and Syrian communities affected by the earthquake.

‘We would like to create one momentum of togetherness in channelling aid to Turkiye and Syria. We are now working on providing early aid totalling RM250,000 commitments from our NGO friends and it will be handed over and taken to Turkiye and Syria this week.

“We are focussing on three types of aid, SAR operations equipment, emergency first aid needs like tents, petrol and fuel (for the winter), canvas and hot food, as well as recovery assistance such as their placement,“ he said.

He announced this at a virtual press conference ‘Malaysia For Syria’ and Global Peace Mission with a coalition of 21 Malaysian humanitarian NGOs concerned about the Turkiye and Syrian earthquakes through the Zoom application yesterday.

Syahrir said the priority of the aid mission is to collect RM250,000 to deploy a reconnaissance team and to purchase early-stage aid items.

He said the five-member reconnaissance team will also be sent to Turkiye and Syria at least by Thursday (Feb 9) to conduct field surveys and purchase early aid items for the earthquake victims.

“We will go to Turkiye first to offer our assistance because to enter Syria we will need to get clearance from Turkiye first. We have expressed our intention to the Turkiye Embassy in Malaysia for a special clearance and this may take time but we are hoping the clearance will be given to us quickly.

“From Malaysia, we will focus on cash contributions. Besides that, only first-hand items like clothes and daily items are accepted. The conditions are not imposed arbitrarily but they are requirements by Turkiye,” he said.

Syahrir also said the coalition has also established two temporary aid and protection coordination centres in Gaziantep, Turkey and Aleppo, Syria.

The total value of this initial aid amounted to RM400,000.

“Contributions to this relief mission can be channelled to any NGOs involved in this coalition. We are in solidarity with friends in Turkiye and Syria. We ask for the help and support of Malaysians and Indonesians in this relief mission,“ he said.

So far, a total of 3,381 people have been reported killed while 20,426 others injured in 10 Türkiye provinces after the two powerful earthquakes struck the southern part of the country. -Bernama