ATHENS – With a truce in their verbal war and disputes over the seas, Greece will send five aircraft with humanitarian aid to help Turkey in the wake of a deadly earthquake that has killed more than 15,000 people, and Greeks are jumping in to help.
The supplies will be sent through the European Civil Protection Mechanism on the order of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and include health and medical equipment and basic necessities, such as 7,500 blankets, 1,500 beds and 500 tents, which can accommodate families and used as mobile clinics.
The first mission of humanitarian aid to Turkey will be accompanied by Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister, Christos Stylianidis and the Secretary General of Civil Protection Vassilios Papageorgiou, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANMA, although Turkey rejected aid offered by Cyprus.
The mission is carried out in consultation with the Turkish authorities, with the assistance of the Turkish ambassador in Athens, and in cooperation with the European Commission, the report said.
Some 75 percent of the cost of transporting the equipment will be covered by the European Civil Protection Mechanism, while the remaining 25 percent from Aegean Airlines, no word whether Greek military aircraft would also be used at some point.
The Greek government, Greek Orthodox Church, and municipalities among others have issued calls to the public for collection of basic needs for the earthquake-stricken regions of Turkey and Syria, added the report.
The General Secretariat for Social Solidarity and Combatting Poverty (Labor & Social Affairs Ministry) asked for donations of items through the Hellenic Red Cross to help the homeless in those two countries.
The list of necessities includes foods with long shelf life (legumes, cans, biscuits, nuts, bottled water, milk, and juices), baby diapers, blankets and sheets, children’s and adult clothing, personal hygiene items, masks, antibacterial hankies or gels, gloves, and baby formula, milk for children, and baby care items.
The Greek Orthodox Church of Greece will collect from the Holy Archbishopric of Athens and Metropolitan Churches of Greece other items as well, including new blankets and comforters as well as bottled water, long-shelf-life milk, pasta, rice, and legumes in a drive from a Feb. 12-19 aid drive.