PUTRAJAYA, Feb 8 (Bernama) — Malaysia will channel over US$2 million (over RM8.6 million) to Turkiye and Syria to help the victims of the strong earthquake that struck the two countries early Monday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Cabinet has agreed to Malaysia Government donating US$1 million for the purpose, while the other US$1 million would come from the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

At the same time, he said the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council had allocated RM1 million in humanitarian aid, mostly to also be channelled to Turkiye dan Syria.

The strong 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkiye and northern Syria early Monday morning, bringing down buildings and killing thousands of people in the two countries. The tremors were reported to have been felt in Cyprus and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Anwar said Malaysia would also deploy its second Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) to Turkiye tonight to join in the search and rescue (SAR) operations there.

The team under the National Disaster Management Agency’s (NADMA) purview will comprise 70 members of SMART and the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.

“This is because the first team has been so effective, the Turkish government requested for more,” he said.

On Feb 6, the first SMART team was deployed to help in the SAR operations in Turkiye as a sign of Malaysian solidarity with those affected by the disaster.

Anwar said the Ministry of Defence is also in the midst of putting together a team of military doctors and paramedics to be sent to Turkiye.

“This team of military doctors and paramedics is also prepped to set up a field hospital in Turkiye, just awaiting confirmation of the need from the country,” he said.

On the SAR operations in Syria, Anwar said the donations to the country would be made through the International Red Cross Society (IRCS).

“This is because there are restrictions…our envoy in Syria will ensure the distribution of finds and medical purchases be made through the IRCS,” he added.


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