In pictures: Iraqis open donation centres for victims of Turkey-Syria earthquake
The deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on 6 Feburary has shattered entire regions and affected 23 million people. The death toll, which has passed 22,000, has had a dire impact on both countries, with horrific scenes of buildings crumbling resonating with people worldwide.
Across the globe, people have held vigils to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the devastating quake, while in Gaza people queued to donate blood to survivors.
In Iraq, people also rallied to show their solidarity by collecting donations for victims. (All photos by Ismael Adnan)
In order to help with the humanitarian efforts on the ground, Iraq has sent teams to Turkey from its Red Crescent and foreign affairs ministry. The Iraqi Ministry of Trade has sent 650 tonnes of food to Syria, where temperatures have plummeted, leaving aid organisations concerned over the threat of hypothermia.
Meanwhile, people around Iraq gathered to collect donations.
In the Kurdish region of Iraq, hundreds of people have joined in the efforts. In the Dohuk region, a large donation campaign was launched on Thursday, with the governor, Ali Tatar, announcing that donation centres would be opened around the province.
On Thursday, the ministry of health in the Kurdistan region announced that it had sent 20 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies to Turkey. Jutiar Adel, a spokesperson for the regional government, said that 30 specialised doctors had been sent to Turkey to help treat the injured.
People flocked to the donation centres, bringing blankets to send to those who had been made homeless by the earthquake.
“We have opened 40 centres to take donations throughout the province, including five centres in the city of Dohuk,” Warvin Sabah, who works in the directorate of migration and displacement in Dohuk, told Middle East Eye.
"These donations that we receive are for our brothers in Turkey and Syria who were affected by the earthquake that occurred in their areas,” she added.
The donation centres are open daily from 10am to 5pm. “From the first day the donation centres opened, people have been very eager to help,” Sabah explained. “Most of the people who came to donate are poor themselves. Some of them donated 10,000 Iraqi dinars ($6) and even 50,000 Iraqi dinars. There were also children donating and showing solidarity with those affected by the earthquake.”
"It is a very painful feeling when we see our brothers in Turkey and Syria living through these difficult times," Zakri Zaki, a 20-year-old resident of Dohuk who works as a taxi driver, told Middle East Eye.
"When the earthquake occurred, I was in the car in one of the areas in the southeast of Dohuk, and I felt the [it], but I did not expect that this had happened in Turkey and Syria and caused all this harm and destruction."
Since the donation centres opened, hundreds of bags of clothing and winter supplies, including blankets, have been collected. "Our hearts ache because the situation is tragic there in Turkey and Syria. I kept thinking about what it would be like if we were in their place,” Zaki said.
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