Qatar donated 10,000 cabins and caravans from last year’s FIFA World Cup to provide shelter for survivors of the Turkish and Syrian earthquakes, officials said. The gas-rich Gulf nation says it had always planned to donate the mobile homes. They were needed to help house some of the 1.4 million fans who descended on the small country during soccer’s biggest tournament.
An initial batch of 350 structures was shipped out on Sunday, the Qatar Fund for Development said. The magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 quakes that struck nine hours apart on Feb. 6 killed more than 35,000 people in southeastern Turkey and war-torn northern Syria. The toll is expected to climb even further as search and rescue teams find more bodies.
Qatar and other wealthy Gulf countries have joined the global effort to send rescuers and aid to the stricken region along with donated Cabins and caravans. The United Arab Emirates has pledged $100 million for relief efforts. Saudi Arabia has dispatched eight planes loaded with supplies to Turkey and Syria.
The Emir of Qatar also ordered the launch of an air bridge for Turkey fully equipped with field hospitals, relief aid, tents, and other essential equipment. He also donated QAR 50 million ($14 million) on live television during the Oun and Sanad campaign. The campaign has generated QAR 168,015,836 (around $19 million). Emir Qatar Sheikh Tamim also visited Turkey and met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Becoming the first foreign leader to visit Turkey after the devastating earthquake.
Qatar has one of the biggest foreign rescue teams in Turkey, with about 130 people on the ground. It has also sent 100 tonne in aid. The two countries have built increasingly strong ties in recent years. Even before the quake, Qatar had agreed to inject billions of dollars into the struggling Turkish economy and invested in shopping malls and infrastructure projects.