Donations and a field hospital: How Belgium is mobilising to help Turkey and Syria

Rescue teams carry the body of a victim from a destroyed building after a devastating earthquake rocked Syria and Turkey, in the costal town of Jableh, Syria, Feb. 9 2023
Rescue teams carry the body of a victim from a destroyed building after a devastating earthquake rocked Syria and Turkey, in the costal town of Jableh, Syria, Feb. 9 2023 Copyright AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki
By Aida Sanchez
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Donations and a field hospital: How Belgium is mobilising to help Turkey and Syria

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Aid for those affected by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria is pouring in from all corners of the globe including Belgium, where civil society has been quick to organise to provide warm clothes and first necessity items. 

In the Brussels suburb of Saint-Josse-ten-Node, many of the inhabitants are of Turkish origin and donations started spontaneously. 

"What we need most of all is clothes, because it's very cold in Turkey and Syria. We are helping our countries. My origins are Turkish. I am Turkish. I have no family there, but I couldn't sleep, I cried a lot. They need everything," Elif Karakeya, a volunteer, told Euronews. 

But help is also coming through official channels. The country has sent a delegation of the B-FAST intervention team. The group is made up of eight people, including doctors, logisticians and diplomats, who have travelled to the south of Turkey with the objective of surveying the terrain to set up a field hospital.

The temporary infrastructure will be able to provide care for about 100 people daily and will allow for an additional 20 patients to stay overnight for observation. The hospital is expected to be in place for several weeks. 

"In total there will be about 80 people working in that hospital, doctors, nurses, but also technical equipment. It is planned to help people in the emergency room, triage, operating theatre... after the operations, mother and child units and in-patient ward for men, women, etc.," Gerlant van Berlaer, the doctor leading the operation, told Euronews. 

The rest of the team is expected to travel from Belgium once the reconnaissance work has been completed.

Watch the video in the player above to find out more.

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