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Enfield North MP asks Rishi Sunak about UK support for Turkey and Syria crisis

Enfield North MP Feryal Clark asked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about his commitment to support those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Clark questioned Rishi Sunak during this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions about what type of aid would be provided to the struggling countries after a pair of heavy earthquakes struck this Monday.

She was adamant about the pressing need to find missing people, highlighting conditions deteriorating and time running out.

She said: “As we enter the third day of the earthquake, the bitter, cold, unforgiving weather means that the likelihood of pulling more survivors from the rubble becomes less and less likely.

“The immediate humanitarian impact is devastating.”

Sunak agreed with the sentiment, assuring that the staff sent to Turkey and the White Helmets in Syria were helping the operation.

The UK’s team, composed of 77 search and rescue specialists, four search dogs and Emergency Medical Team staff, arrived in Gaziantep in Turkey yesterday to aid the search for people caught in the rubble.

Clark also asked about Sunak’s efforts in discussing the incident with his counterparts and ensuring that the aid is equivalent to the level of the disaster.

Sunak confirmed talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while foreign secretary James Cleverly was in contact with the United Nations.

Sunak said: “We’re continuing to be in touch with everyone that we need to and I can assure the honourable lady we will continue to provide all the support that is asked of us.”

The Foreign Office since confirmed that it will send additional support valued at around £8m including medical help, tents, blankets and hygiene kits.

Cleverly said: “Our priority is to ensure life saving assistance is given to those most in need, coordinated with the Turkish government, UN and international partners.”

The combined death toll of Syria and Turkey surpassed 11,000 today, with the World Health Organization saying it could rise to around 20,000 over time.

Both Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer paid their respects to those affected by the disaster in both countries at the beginning of proceedings.

Many charities in London formed fundraisers and appeals to support those struggling with the crisis by using donations.

Featured Image credit: DaniKauf via Wikimedia Commons under the license CC BY-SA 3.0

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