Pope Francis has sent ten thousand medicines to Turkey to assist people recovering from the devastating earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey in February. The papal almoner collaborated with the Turkish Embassy to the Holy See to send the medicines, while the Italian Bishops embarked on a fundraising campaign to assist people in Syria and Turkey.
The Dicastery for the Service of Charity is sending more medicines to Istanbul, in accordance with the Pope’s wish to offer more assistance to the victims of the earthquake. An initial dispatch was sent yesterday, and more shipments are continuing today. The Turkish Embassy to the Holy See provided guidance and instructions on the most urgently needed 10,000 medicines that have been purchased.
According to The Turkish News Portal, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, explained that they were sending the aid via Turkish airliners, and that the effort was made possible thanks to the help of volunteers. Right after the earthquake in February that displaced nearly two million people in Turkey, the Dicastery for the Service of Charity sent medicines, tinned food such as rice and tuna, thermal shirts, nappies, and other materials that can withstand the weather and even the cold.
In addition, the Italian Bishops’ fundraising campaign for donations aims to be “a concrete sign of solidarity with participation of all believers in providing for the material and spiritual needs” of the earthquake victims. The fundraising campaign will continue until 30 April 2023, and Caritas Italy is also assisting with the efforts.
The earthquake, which caused 50,000 deaths, devastated neighboring Syria, where 15 million people are in distress due to both the earthquake and the ongoing war. The Apostolic Nunciature, which helps coordinate the process to help the population, has provided financial aid from the Pope in the past. The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, has also begun his mission in Syria and Turkey.