Ankara, 21 February 2023 (TDI): The Secretary of State of the United States (US), Antony Blinken arrived at Turkiye on Sunday after attending the Munich Security Conference (MSC).

Whilst there, Secretary Antony Blinken announced an additional $100 million for Earthquake-relief for Turkiye and Syria.

The new round of funding includes $50 million under humanitarian assistance through USAID and $50 million under Emergency Refugee and migration assistance.

The new funding brings the total amount of $185 million in US aid for Turkiye and Syria. The US Non-Governmental Organizations have also contributed $66 million for Earthquake relief for the people of Turkiye and Syria.

During the visit, Secretary Blinken also met with Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and visited the affected area by Helicopter.

“It’s really hard to put into words. You see buildings still standing and then buildings collapsed, roofs destroyed and right next to it, something that’s still standing,” Antony Blinken told the reporter after observing the devastated area.

Secretary Blinken reassured the Turkish Foreign Minister of the commitment of the US to continue help in the long-term effort.

Further, he added, “When you see the extent of the damage, the number of buildings, the number of apartments, the number of homes that have been destroyed, it is going to take a massive effort to rebuild but we are committed to supporting Turkey in that effort.”

It is also to be noted that the US has sent rescue teams, medical supplies, and concrete-breaking machinery to Turkiye, since the devastating Earthquake on 6 February.

During the visit to Turkiye, Secretary of States Antony Blinken also met with the representatives of Syrian Civil Defense volunteer organizations. He reassured the US’ commitment to supporting Syrian Civil Defense organizations.

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During the meeting, Antony Blinken also added that due to political strife and border blockade in Syria, we are facing challenges to transfer humanitarian aid to Syria.

In addition, he added, “We’ll do everything we can, including making sure, for example, there’s absolutely no doubt that whatever sanctions against Syria do not affect the provision of humanitarian assistance.”