The United States is sending another $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Turkey and Syria to help the two countries cope with the devastating earthquake that has killed more than 46,000 people and left millions homeless.
The new aid brings the total U.S. assistance to $185 million and will be provided to international and nongovernmental groups that have been involved in the rescue and recovery efforts.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was visiting Turkey on Sunday to observe firsthand the devastating aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, said the new assistance would help in the purchase of such items as blankets, mattresses, food packs, warm clothing, tents, and shelter materials.
The aid will also support medicine and health services, clean water and sanitation efforts, and programs supporting the education of children and youth impacted by the earthquake.
Blinken took a helicopter tour of some of the earthquake devastation Sunday with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu. Blinken is expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.
The top U.S. diplomat’s meetings in Turkey follow a visit to Washington by Cavusoglu last month. The two NATO allies have tried to mend fences over disagreements on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, plus Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the alliance.
Against all odds, rescue workers have continued to recover people from the rubble of the February 6 earthquake, but the head of the country’s disaster response agency has said their efforts would end Sunday.