Search and rescue personnel carrying a body found under collapsed buildings in Hatay along the Mediterranean coast, southern Turkey on February 19, 2023. — AFP

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Search and rescue personnel carrying a body found under collapsed buildings in Hatay along the Mediterranean coast, southern Turkey on February 19, 2023. — AFP
  • Contributions are expected, both in cash and kind, APPNA says
  • Masood Khan expresses sympathy with Turkish people.
  • Doctors’ association offers sending medical mission to Turkey.

WASHINGTON: An amount of $365,000 was raised within an hour of a Zoom telethon organised by Pakistani-American doctors on Sunday to help victims in Turkey of catastrophic earthquake of 7.8 magnitude that killed more than 46,000 people and left millions more in desperate need of aid.

Organisers said that more contributions were expected, both in cash and kind.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, made a passionate appeal to the Pakistani diaspora to contribute generously towards providing relief to the Turkish brethren, as “their suffering is our suffering, their agony is our agony,” according to a press release issued by the Pakistani embassy.

Turkey’s Ambassador Hasan Murat Mercan, who also participated in the virtual telethon, briefed the participants about the magnitude of the calamity.

He thanked the government and the people of Pakistan, especially the Pakistani community residing in the United States, for their prompt and generous support at this difficult hour.

In his remarks, Ambassador Khan said: “Our hearts go out to the people and government of [Turkey] who were hit by one of the deadliest earthquakes in the past one hundred years and one of the biggest natural disasters of our times.”

The Pakistani envoy expressed heartfelt condolences of the nation to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the entire nation of Turkey over the tragic loss of precious lives and other damages.

Ambassador Khan also lauded the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) and its leadership for organising the telethon and raising humanitarian assistance for the earthquake response in Turkey.

APPNA, on the occasion, also offered to send a medical mission to Turkey to support relief efforts.

On February 11, it was reported that a Pakistani in the United States had anonymously “donated $30 million to the Turkish embassy” for the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.

The news of the donation, reported by Turkish media, had been confirmed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who took to Twitter and said: “Deeply moved by the example of an anonymous Pakistani who walked into Turkish embassy in the US and donated $30 million for earthquake victims in [Turkey] and Syria.”

“These are such glorious acts of philanthropy that enable humanity to triumph over the seemingly insurmountable odds,” he added. 

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