In response to the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria last Monday, Qatar has pledged to donate 10,000 mobile housing units to help accommodate those who have lost their homes. The Arab state has begun delivery on this promise, with a ship carrying 350 units leaving Qatar for Turkey this week, as per Qatar’s Fund for Development.
A Qatari official told Reuters, “In view of the urgent needs in Turkey and Syria, we have taken the decision to ship our cabins and caravans to the region, providing much-needed and immediate support to the people of Turkey and Syria.” The official also revealed that portacabins and mobile homes housed fans visiting for the soccer World Cup held in Qatar last year. Fans paid $200 per night to stay in the housing units installed on empty stretches of desert surrounding the Qatari capital Doha to avoid a potential housing shortage during the month-long tournament.
The earthquake has left tens of thousands of people homeless and needing urgent assistance.
According to recent reports, the combined death toll in Turkey and Syria from the quake and aftershocks is approaching 36,000 and looks set to rise. The focus of the response has now shifted from rescuing survivors to providing shelter, food, and psychosocial care.
Qatar’s donation of mobile housing units is expected to provide immediate relief to those in need. The Qatari official noted that the country’s decision to donate the portacabins and mobile homes was due to the urgent needs in Turkey and Syria. “We hope that our contribution will make a difference in the lives of those affected by this tragedy”, the official added.
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