BRUSSELS : Over €1.8 million ($1.9 million) was raised in a single day in Belgium to help the victims of last month’s earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria in response to a call by the country’s biggest charities.
In a statement Tuesday, the 12-12 Consortium, assembling Belgium’s seven most important charity organizations, said that “€1.8 million has been raised in favor of the victims of the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria at the big day of solidarity on March 6.”
Marking one month since the disaster, all Belgian media outlets dedicated programs or content on the disastrous effects of the earthquakes and called on people to make donations.
“The day of solidarity ended with an impressive result,” said Gilles Van Moortel, the consortium’s coordinator, explaining that they received three times more donations than in an average day due to the media coverage.
The amount collected Monday represents 15% of the funds, bringing the total to €11.6 million.
Caritas International, Red Cross Belgium, Handicap International (Humanity & Inclusion), Medecins du Monde, Oxfam Belgium, Plan International Belgium and UNICEF Belgium are members of the consortium.
The charities raised over €8.27 million in the first two weeks after the earthquakes, according to their data.
More than 46,100 people were killed in Türkiye by magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes that struck on Feb. 6, according to officials.
The strong tremors, which were centered in Kahramanmaras province, also hit 10 other provinces: Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa and Elazig.
Some 13.5 million people have been affected in Türkiye by the massive quakes, which struck in less than 10 hours.
They also rattled several neighboring countries and caused widespread destruction in northern Syria, where around 6,000 people were reportedly killed, according to UN figures citing local and government sources. — AA