Common Contribution by the Diplomatic Corps based in Ankara
Ambassador of Sri Lanka along with Ambassadors of Algeria, Djibouti, Malta, Montenegro, and New Zealand handed over common contribution of 123,500 Turkish Lira received from the diplomatic corps based in Ankara to be used for relief efforts for earthquake victims in Türkiye to AFAD President, Mr. Yunus Sezer today at the AFAD Headquarters in Ankara.
AFAD is the Turkish agency responsible for disaster and emergency management functioning under the Turkish Presidency.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yasin Ekrem Serim, President of AFAD Mr. Yunus Sezer, Director General of South Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Oguzhan Ertugrul and Ambassadors of Djibouti, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand and Sri Lanka were present at the meeting and handing over of the donation at the AFAD headquarters.
Considering the devastating earthquakes that Türkiye encountered on 06 February 2023, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Ms. Hasanthi Urugodwatte Dissanayake launched the initiative for the Ankara-based diplomats to make taken contribution in solidarity with the host country and its people at such a time of great catastrophe that has affected millions of people.
As the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Djibouti was much involved in ensuring safety of over thousand Djiboutian nationals in the affected areas, with his support and many other Ambassadors, Ambassador Dissanayake took the responsibility for coordination of the donation.
With much positive response and support from the diplomatic community, token contribution of 123,500 Turkish Lira was collected by the Diplomatic Corps based in Ankara.
At the meeting to hand over the donation at AFAD, Deputy Foreign Minister Yasin Ekrem Serim and President of AFAD Mr. Yunus Sezer thanked Ambassador of Sri Lanka for the initiative of a donation by the diplomatic corps and also thanked other Ambassadors who have positively supported the idea to help victims of the earthquake. Further, he indicated that Türkiye will never forget nations which are standing by them during this unprecedented tragedy that the country has faced in modern times.
Further, Ambassador Dissanayake recalled that Türkiye in deed has supported Sri Lanka during its difficult times, such as during aftermath of 2004 tsunami, and during extreme weather events, COVID pandemic and most recently last year with medical supplies when the country was facing shortage of the same, and said that her contribution by way of coordinating this donation was a very small gesture of reciprocity. Ambassador also added that Sri Lankan disaster response teams are ready whenever they are needed to come and assist Türkiye.
President of AFAD briefed the Ambassadors present that from 11 most affected areas by the earthquake more than 40,000 people have died more than 14 million people and over 10,000 settlements affects. Further temporary accommodation has been provided by now to more than one million victims.
Deputy Foreign Minister appreciated the role played by the international community with more than 80 countries sending teams for search and rescue operations alone, by both air and by land, which are coordinated by the Ministry of foreign Affairs. He expressed his gratitude for the UN Humanitarian Appeal and also explained that Türkiye is facilitating aid to reach Syria.
After the meeting Ambassadors were taken on a tour to the AFAD emergency coordination centre, where representatives of all relevant government agencies are working round the clock.
Ending the tour of the centre, President of AFAD and the deputy Foreign Minister were much thankful of the heart-warming gesture by the diplomatic community in Ankara.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
24 February 2023