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The Turkey and Syria Earthquake

£50,000 donated to ShelterBox

On Monday, 6 February 2023 a series of powerful earthquakes devastated southern Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and northern Syria. The Trustees of the Mark Benevolent Fund were quick to act and by the close of business on Tuesday 7, had approved an emergency grant of £50,000 to help with the rescue efforts in association with our trusted partners at the ShelterBox charity.

The charity is sending an emergency response team to carry out crucial assessments and establish how best their help can be deployed. Their international assessment team will arrive in Türkiye in a few days and will be liaising with contacts on the ground to establish how best to proceed.

The humanitarian need in Türkiye and Syria is immense and growing – it is the most devastating earthquake to hit the region in 100 years and could become the worst. The death toll is likely to rise significantly, and thousands of buildings have been destroyed in both countries leaving people homeless, with nowhere to sleep, in the middle of a bitter winter.

ShelterBox provides different combinations of emergency shelter aid and essential household items during its responses depending on what is needed. This could be sending tents and shelter kits, stoves, thermal blankets and clothing to keep people warm through the freezing winter nights. It could be cash to help people buy what they need to survive. Or it could solar lights that help people when there is no electricity. Getting aid into countries and on to where it’s needed after a disaster of this scale presents huge challenges especially with damage to infrastructure and supply routes. That’s why ShelterBox strategically pre-positions aid around the world, including in Syria.

This donation of £50,000 from the Mark Benevolent Fund will allow ShelterBox to act quickly, adapting how they work to best support people affected by the earthquakes and allowing them to tailor aid packages to what is needed. There are currently no plans to set up a central fund from Mark Masons’ Hall.

This is what the grant will be used for by the ShelterBox charity (information taken from the ShelterBox website):

SHELTERBOX TENT - £350 When disaster strikes, families need shelter to feel safe again. When they can’t start rebuilding their homes immediately, durable tents can make them feel safe and protected. Depending on the weather and the place, the shelter needs of families differ. That’s why we’re committed to providing families with the best possible solutions that suit their needs. From padded tents that can safely accommodate a stove, to medium-sized tents that fit in small spaces and ones that can last years if needed, families can feel at home again.

SHELTER KITS - £60 We provide shelter kits hardwearing tools and materials that are customised to suit the needs of each community. The tools and materials we send provide the essentials families need to start rebuilding homes straight away, ranging from tough tarpaulin and timber to corrugated sheeting and even room dividers. The versatile tools we provide help with everything from clearing rubble to building shelters and even tending crops. Our tools can also be used to build furniture, cut firewood and make repairs.

BLANKETS - £7 Blankets, groundsheets and mattresses not only provide vital warmth, but comfort too when families are recovering from disaster. These simple items can be used in a variety of ways, from bedding to room dividers, and help turn a shelter into a home.

SOLAR LIGHTS - £11 Our solar lights can last up to 24 hours on just one charge on the lowest setting. They are lightweight and waterproof, making them easy to carry in any situation. Because they are so safe, cheap and easy to use, families use solar lights in different ways – for work, education, family activities, or simply moving around at night. They are more than just light – they can provide comfort and allow families to regain their livelihoods.

Find out more about the work of ShelterBox


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