IBC’S GRANTS AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER, HEATHER SONYA UNER, WAS THE GUEST OF DUBAI EYE RADIO STATION!


When the calendar showed February 6, Türkiye woke up to a completely different day. The shocking earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.7 and 7.6, centered in Kahramanmaraş, caused great destruction not only in 11 provinces but also in Northern Syria.

It caused many settlements and even historical monuments, which are the most vivid witnesses of the past, to be destroyed. While 50,783 people died from severe earthquakes, 107,000 injured people were rescued. IBC began to take an active role in determining basic humanitarian reliefs and needs by combining all its resources with its vast experience and knowledge based on years for the people of Turkey and Northern Syria, whose lives changed overnight.

In addition to providing psychosocial support approved by the Ministry of Family and Social Services in the earthquake zone, IBC quickly produced a solution to facilitate access to basic needs. It offered mobile kitchens, mobile showers, and toilets to earthquake victims. It was aware that children were among those most affected by the severe consequences of the earthquake that shook the entire country. For this reason, IBC prioritizes newborns, children under three, and school-age children. It continues to provide clothing, health relief (including medicine and mobile services), hygiene materials, diapers, and food support so they do not have difficulties in harsh winter conditions.

Some of the workshops held in Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep to help children get through this process more easily…

The International Blue Crescent Foundation has yet to give up on extending a helping hand to the earthquake region over time. It has taken many necessary steps to urgently surgent the region's people's sheltering proa sign of this; the official opening of the Turkey-Korea Friendship City was held in the Serinyol Region of Hatay on October 19, 2023. In addition to providing 170 ready-to-occupancy containers to the container city, which will accommodate approximately 2000 people, It also continued to distribute basic needs kits in the region regularly, empowerment activities for women, psychosocial support activities, awareness sessions, and develop employment projects aimed at redeveloping the people of the region.

Türkiye - Korea Friendship City opening, Hatay Serinyol
Türkiye - Korea Friendship City opening, Hatay Serinyol

During this process, IBC remembered Northern Syria, one of the places most damaged by the earthquake, and actively continued its relief activities there. Due to the damage to the water tanks, emphasis was placed on restoration and new water tank works. Moreover, within the scope of joint work with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) within the size of the Water and Sanitation Project (WASH), shower area and toilet block works were discussed within the İVA and Brotherhood Camp in Azez. At the same time, work has started in recent months for the living center to be established in Muhawamah Camp, which is planned to accommodate approximately 600 people.

Toilet and shower area works prepared within the WASH Project, Northern Syria scope.

One year has passed since this great disaster. To convey the work and situation in the region during this period, International Blue Crescent Foundation Grants and Partnerships Manager Heather Sonya Üner was the guest of Georgia Tolley, the host of The Agenda program on Dubai Eye 103.8 radio station on February 6, and answered her questions.

Stating that the Foundation intervened quickly after the earthquake because it dominated a large area in the region, Üner added that they provided hot soup and tent support from the first moment and later opened community centers for people needing help and support. She underlined that the International Blue Crescent Foundation was fortunate not to lose any of its employees, but most of its employees lost their homes, family members, and spouses. She stated that the Foundation gave time to its employees who were going through a complex process to recover, but that each preferred to help the places and people where they were born and raised and to whom they were loyal, with great devotion.

Answering Georgia Tolley's question about the situation on the field one year after the tragedy, Üner meticulously answered that the landscape of destruction had changed within a year, but there was still work to be done in the region. She stated that people live in temporary shelters, sometimes in container houses, and sometimes in tents set up in the areas where their homes are located. She added that currently, only one of the camps established by the Foundation has 440 container houses, each occupied.

Stating that the people living in the region are going through a complex process not only financially but also spiritually, Üner also said that they provide psychosocial support to help those left behind to hold on to life and cope with their pain. Stating that they focus on continuing food and hygiene package relief and recovery as a Foundation, Üner added that they are planning mental health support, especially for children and youth. She stated that they currently have an exciting program where they teach people how to rebuild their own homes. She noted that they have similar projects in Syria and hope to restore water wells there. She concluded his words by saying they provide housing materials to build and repair new houses.

You can access the entire interview between minutes 41:00 and 47:06 by selecting the broadcast dated February 6 via the link:
https://www.dubaieye1038.com/on-air/the-agenda-with-georgia-tolley/



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