MSC is coordinating closely with the Turkish authorities, the Italian Foreign Ministry and the Vatican. MSC Aurelia, normally used as a passenger and vehicle ferry, departed from the Port of Naples on February 16 heading for the port of Iskenderun. It will be available as emergency accommodation, providing the impacted communities with over 1,000 beds and leisure spaces including a restaurant and cinema, as well as video-game entertainment for children.
‘As soon as the terrible earthquake in Türkiye and Syria struck, we immediately took action to collect funds, supplies and food, which we can deliver on our ships within a short period of time,’ said Daniela Picco, executive director, MSC Foundation.
‘The departure of MSC Aurelia from the port of Naples is an initial example of what we are doing, while we keep on working to provide associations and governments with what we can, so that by sea and by land some comfort can reach those who are presently living in dire situations and, in the future, for the rebuilding of cities and the environment.’
It is not the first time that MSC Foundation and the MSC Group have lent support to emergency relief operations: in 2022, it provided funding worth millions of euros to offer aid to refugees from Ukraine and led eight emergency relief initiatives in nine countries.
400+ cars loaded with essentials
MSC Aurelia, with a cargo capacity of 40 trucks and 400+ cars, loaded basic necessities and first aid items collected by the MSC Group and the MSC Foundation, together with the Rava Foundation. The cargo includes 60 pallets of medical supplies, food, hygiene items, warm clothing and blankets, as well as toys and crayons for children. An additional 50 boxes of thermal shirts are being carried on behalf of the Vatican.
Due to collaboration between the MSC Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a further 100 containers carrying first aid supplies (including blankets, mattresses, sleeping bags, kitchen sets, jerry cans and lamps) are departing from Jordan via Haifa, the HQ of the UN Refugee Agency’s warehouses. The containers will be destined for Gaziantep and other cities hit hardest by the earthquake and will be at the disposal of the relief workers already onsite caring for survivors.
MSC Türkiye has set up temporary accommodation at Iskenderun port using empty containers for 300 MSC Group employees and their families who lost their homes in the disaster. MSC Türkiye is also arranging for the distribution of food, beverages and items to meet basic needs.
Similarly, the MSC Group, in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs, is carrying and providing thousands of empty containers to four of Türkiye’s hardest-hit provinces: Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Hatay and Kahramanmaraş. The containers will provide temporary shelter for the earthquake survivors.
The support of the MSC Group and the MSC Foundation also includes a global fundraising campaign among employees of the group. Every donation by an employee of MSC will be matched by the MSC Foundation and will be used to support organizations working on reconstruction projects in Türkiye and Syria.
Mariavittoria Rava, president, Francesca Rava Foundation, in response to thanks by Picco, said, ‘I am deeply grateful to the MSC Foundation for this important and valuable synergy, which allows us to bring further concrete help to the earthquake victims.
‘In emergencies, it is always very important to identify the most urgent needs right away and develop targeted and timely action. To continue to help we need funds: stay close to us, together we can make a difference in the lives of those who suffer.’
Rava Foundation is working with local institutions and partners, with Joy For Children Aps and Salaheddini Eyyubi Yardim Dernegi, which have been operating for several years on the Turkish-Syrian border.
MSC also expressed appreciation to the EcoEridania Group for participating in the initiative with an in-kind donation and for assisting with logistics for the relief shipment.