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More than 23 Tons of Medical Aid Departs for Turkey

Direct Relief's largest earthquake-response shipment to date is en route.


Turkey-Syria Earthquake 2023

Medical aid leaves Direct Relief's Santa Barbara, California warehouse on Feb. 17, 2023. Since the earthquake 11 days ago, more than 46 tons of medical aid has been staged, is en route, or has arrived in Turkey and Syria. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

More than 23 tons of medical aid departed Direct Relief’s warehouse on Friday, bound for Turkey and filled with medications and supplies specifically requested by Turkey’s Ministry of Health.

The death toll from the quakes has risen to 43,000 across Turkey and Syria, with dozens of health facilities damaged or destroyed. Direct Relief has focused on medical aid to strengthen the health system, as well as financial aid to local groups to support medical care and search and rescue efforts.

The 89-pallet shipment departed for Los Angeles International Airport, where it will be flown to Istanbul and then trucked to Adana, Turkey. It is expected to arrive in Adana mid-next week.

More than 23 tons of medical aid just before departing on Feb. 17, 2023, for Turkey. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

The shipment contains chronic disease medications, trauma supplies, mental health therapies, oral rehydration salts, micronutrient vitamins, and protective gear, which were specifically requested by Turkey’s Ministry of Health and will be used to support the country’s health system as it treats people impacted by deadly earthquakes.

Another 25-pallet shipment for Turkey’s Ministry of Health is being trucked from Direct Relief’s warehouse in the Netherlands and contains anti-infective medications and antibiotics.

Ali Said Dolu, Commercial Attache of Turkey, visits Direct Relief’s warehouse before the departure of an 89-pallet shipment of medical aid left for Turkey containing medical aid in response to the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rattled the region. The shipment, which contains essential medications, chronic disease management medicines, prenatal, vitamins, and more, was specifically request by Turkey’s Ministry of Health. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

On Friday, Ali Said Dolu, Commercial Attache of Turkey, visited Direct Relief’s California warehouse before the shipment departed. Dolu received a tour of Direct Relief’s warehouse and met with Thomas Tighe, CEO and President of Direct Relief, and other key staff involved in the shipment’s creation.

Since the earthquake 11 days ago, more than 46 tons of medical aid has been staged, is en route, or has arrived in Turkey and Syria.

Earlier this week, shipments arrived in Syria for the Syrian American Medical Society, which is operating a network of health facilities in northwestern Syria. Direct Relief is also shipping medical support to the Independent Doctors’ Association and Syria Relief and Development, which also support medical efforts in the country.

In the week since the initial quake, Direct Relief has disbursed $1.52 million in immediate emergency grant funding to enable and sustain the emergency response operations of seven local healthcare and search and rescue groups working across Turkey and northwestern Syria.

The organization will continue to meet requests for medical needs.

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