Displaced people in Adiyaman, southeast Turkey Displaced people in Adiyaman, southeast Turkey  (AFP or licensors)

Pope sends thousands of medicines to Turkey for earthquake victims

Pope Francis sends ten thousand medicines to Turkey to assist people recovering from February’s massive earthquake. The papal almoner has sent the medicines in collaboration with the Turkish Embassy to the Holy See. Meanwhile, the Italian Bishops embark on a fundraising campaign to assist people in Syria and Turkey.

By Benedetta Capelli

The Dicastery for the Service of Charity is sending more medicines to Istanbul according to the Pope’s wish to offer more assistance to victims of the 6 February devastating earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey causing 50,000 deaths.

An initial dispatch departed yesterday, and more shipments are continuing today. The Turkish Embassy to the Holy See provided guidance and instructions on the most urgently needed 10,000 medicines that have been purchased.

Neighbouring Syria, devastated by the earthquake and war with 15 million people in distress, has already received financial aid from the Pope in the past thanks to the Apostolic Nunciature, which helps coordinate the process to help the population.

"We send the aid via Turkish airliners," explains Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner. "We monitor the height of the pallets and their weight. This effort is possible thanks to the help of volunteers.”

Pallets of medicines sent to Turkey
Pallets of medicines sent to Turkey

Right after the earthquake in February that displaced nearly two million people in Turkey, the Dicastery for the Service of Charity sent medicines but also tinned food such as rice and tuna, thermal shirts, nappies and many other materials that can withstand the weather and even the cold. At this same time, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, began his mission in Syria and Turkey.

Italian Bishops’ collection for Syria and Turkey

Last Sunday, parishes throughout Italy made their first collection of offerings destined for the populations of Turkey and Syria, according to a project implemented by the Italian Episcopal Conference. The fundraising aims to be "a concrete sign of solidarity with participation of all believers in providing for the material and spiritual needs" of the earthquake victims. The fundraising campaign for donations will continue until 30 April 2023. Caritas Italy is also assisting with the efforts To meet the most urgent needs immediately, the Italian Episcopal Conference has taken an initial allocation of 500,000 euro from its “8xmille” funds.

Aid for Turkey in preparation for shipment by the nation's airlines
Aid for Turkey in preparation for shipment by the nation's airlines

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28 March 2023, 14:36