The Turkish province of Hatay was hit by a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in early February, followed by a second 7.5-magnitude earthquake just two weeks later, claiming more than 50,000 lives and injuring 108,000 more across southeastern Turkey and parts of Syria — and the Vadym Novynskyi Foundation rushed in to help.
The days and weeks following the initial earthquakes, which were registered with a Mercalli Intensity of XII (Extreme) in parts of Antakya, saw crews battling against the clock as plunging temperatures posed a further risk to anyone who may have survived. Now over two months on, UNICEF says there are more than 2.5 million children that still need urgent humanitarian assistance.
This has triggered a massive humanitarian aid response, with businesses and charitable organizations from across Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world uniting to provide support. The two earthquakes are the most powerful that have occurred in Turkey’s territory since 1939.
Ukrainian Search and Rescue Teams Deployed
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, a specialist Ukrainian search and rescue team was deployed to the Antakya area of Turkey’s quake-hit Hatay province and established a tent city near the Turkish city adjacent to the Syrian border.
This was followed by efforts from the Vadym Novynskyi Foundation, a humanitarian aid organization owned by Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist Vadym Novynskyi, in conjunction with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Together, the charity and the church sent 19 container houses and 50 tents at a total cost of 3.6 million hryvnia (approximately $97,513).
“In the region of Hatay, where aid comes from all over the world, regardless of religion, language, race, or nationality, first of all, to the honorable Turkish Nation, who showed extraordinary solidarity, to all institutions of our state, to Hatay Metropolitan Municipality and Belen Municipality,” said Mustafa Kemal Kahya, chairman of the disciplinary board of the Alanya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the body responsible for coordinating critical deliveries of humanitarian aid.
Supporting Ukraine, Supporting Others
Despite the pain and suffering that’s being inflicted upon the people of Ukraine as a result of the ongoing war with Russia and the sheer magnitude of humanitarian aid that the Vadym Novynskyi Foundation is already providing to its own compatriots, Vadym Novynskyi personally ordered the delivery of resources to the Turkish people.
“We Ukrainians still have enough courage and desire to help others. We understand other people’s pain very well and are always ready to help the needy in whatever way we can,” reads an official press release published on the foundation’s website.
Each of the residential modules donated by the foundation has a kitchen, two rooms, and a bathroom. A house this size would accommodate two small families or one large family, say foundation officials. Local authorities connect them to all city communications and facilities such as internet and water.
Ongoing Links With Turkey
The support provided by Vadym Novynskyi to Turkey comes just months after agreements between the Vadym Novynskyi Foundation and various Turkish businesses were signed to provide critical medical goods to war-torn Ukraine.
The foundation received a consignment of medical goods from Turkey in February, which was requested by its medical specialists. The consignment included a variety of medically certified products that are scheduled to be sent to soldiers fighting on Ukraine’s front lines.
According to foundation officials, more “extremely important medical goods” with a total value exceeding $730,000 will soon be on their way to Ukraine’s front lines and transferred as humanitarian aid “to the hottest places.”
In addition to medical equipment, ambulances continue to be donated by the foundation to Ukrainian military units and health care facilities in areas including Donetsk and Luhansk. Since February 2022, more than 130 ambulances have been procured and donated by the foundation, including a brand-new Ford Transit vehicle for defenders in Kherson and a Volkswagen vehicle for those in Donbas.
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the Vadym Novynskyi Foundation has been providing critical assistance to both the military and civilians. Billions of Ukrainian hryvnia have been allocated to various projects thus far, including several overseen by Metinvest Group, which Novynskyi co-owns with fellow businessman Rinat Akhmetov.