UK charity appeal for Turkiye, Syria earthquake reaches $60.3m

An appeal in the UK to raise money for victims of the earthquakes that struck Turkiye and Syria on Monday has received £50 million ($60.3 million) after less than three days of fundraising.

The appeal, launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee, was broadcast across all major TV channels in the UK on Thursday.

The fundrasing received high-profile donations and support from the government, King Charles III and his wife Queen Consort Camilla, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, who said that they were “horrified” by the “harrowing images” from the disaster-stricken zone.

More than 25,000 people are known to have died in the two 7.8 and 7.5-magnitude earthquakes that struck southern Turkiye and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday morning.

The death toll and injury count continues to rise.

British charities including Oxfam, the British Red Cross, and ActionAid have been leading the fundraising for the injured and families of victims, whose lives have been devastated by the natural disaster.

On Friday, it was reported that the British public contributed more than £27.9 million during the appeal’s first day, with the UK government committing to a further £5 million, and the Scottish government pledging a further £500,000.

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the British public for their hugely generous response to this horrific disaster. It’s impossible not to see the images on TV and hear the stories coming from Turkiye and Syria and not be moved.

“Compassion comes in many forms, but we are urging people to donate money rather than things,” he said.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak helped to pack supplies at a donation center supporting the appeal earlier this week, the BBC reported.

“As a dad, watching parents try and find their young children in the rubble is heart-breaking,” he said.

“We will do everything that we can to help Turkiye,” he added.

Earlier this week, British Development Minister Andrew Mitchell, called the public response to the disaster “extraordinary.”