Saturday, April 13, 2024

Australian disaster team returns from Türkiye

Australia has welcomed home its Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) from Türkiye, where operatives used high-tech equipment to search through earthquake rubble for survivors.

The team of 72 personnel comprised representatives from Fire and Rescue NSW, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, ACT Fire and Rescue, New South Wales Departments of Health and Public Works, NSW Ambulance, NSW Police, representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Australian Defence Force also made a valuable contribution by transporting personnel and equipment to and from Türkiye.

Deployment of the DART was part of Australia’s $18 million humanitarian assistance package.

“From New Zealand to Türkiye, Australians have again stepped up to help our international partners in times of need,” said Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong.

“I am proud of the tireless efforts of DART team members who have supported responses to these natural disasters. As a result of their work in Türkiye, many families can now lay their loved ones to rest.”

In Türkiye, Red Cross and Red Crescent partners, as well as NGOs through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership, are delivering support with a focus on protecting those made most vulnerable by the earthquakes, in particular the protection of women and girls, said Senator Wong.

In Syria, assistance is being provided to the United Nations Population Fund to deliver maternal and child health services and protect women and girls without safe housing, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Senator Wong said the Australian Government will continue to assess where it can best assist in addressing additional needs.

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