Jersey Overseas Aid has pledged a further £75,000 to support victims of the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, taking Jersey’s total allocation to £425,000.
£75,000 has been allocated by Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) to RedR UK, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), which provides training and technical support to NGOs, aid workers and communities responding to natural and man-made disasters all over the world.
Katie Bitten, Programmes Manager, RedR UK commented: “Over a month after the earthquakes, the recovery efforts in Syria and Turkey are really only just beginning, and the scale of the destruction, trauma and devastation is unbelievable. There is a critical need for qualified, experienced engineers to support the humanitarian response; ensuring people have access to safe shelter, healthcare and infrastructure. Beyond bricks and mortar, they can support the rebuilding of lives as well as buildings.
“RedR UK, with the kind support of JOA, is building upon its existing structural damage assessments programme in the Middle East to strengthen localised engineering solutions in earthquake response and reconstruction in Türkiye and Syria. RedR is utilising its role as a bridge between engineering and humanitarian sectors to support effective and resilient response, including assessing building safety and damages, repair, and safe demolition.”
In particular, RedR UK is utilising its expertise in capacity strengthening to empower a locally led engineering response. They will provide quality, accessible, needs-based learning materials and technical support to engineers on the ground, as well as develop training capacity amongst structural specialists in Syria and Turkiye, empowering them to in turn support fellow engineers and engineering capacity in the region for years to come. RedR’s Emergency Response Coordinator was recently in Turkey as part of the Engineering Earthquake Field Investigation Team, a group of experts from industry as well as leading academics that has carried out assessments of major earthquakes over the last three decades.
JOA’s funding will help RedR to meet the evolving needs of engineers in real-time, as the response develops and focuses more on more detailed structural assessments, structural repairs, retrofitting, safe demolition and debris management, as well as on providing accountable, community-based engineering interventions.
Jersey’s Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey, said: “Given the sheer scale of this disaster it is essential that there is a bridge between the humanitarian response and the engineering sector so that they can work together to carry out rapid damage assessments while also providing training to local engineers with a view to rebuilding the lives of the millions of people affected by these devastating earthquakes. This latest allocation from Jersey will help to ensure that this vital work can continue.”
This recent allocation to RedR UK is in addition to earlier pledges made to The Red Cross and Crescent’s Turkey-Syria Appeal (£150,000) and to a ‘pooled fund’ in
collaboration with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other Government donors to specifically address the needs in Northern-Syria (£200,000).
Pictured: Turkey in 2023. Credit – Mohammed Bashein, RedR UK