Geneva, Switzerland, 16 February 2023 - The MSC Group and the MSC Foundation have organized an urgent response to support the population in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. A wide effort is underway across the MSC family and the company is closely coordinating 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 16 February heading for the port of Iskenderun (Alexandretta).
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 onboard 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.
We express our gratitude to the EcoEridania Group for participating in the initiative with an in-kind donation and for assisting with logistics for the relief shipment.
Once it reaches its destination, the MSC Aurelia 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.
In addition, thanks to the collaboration between the MSC Foundation and the UN Refugee Agency – also known as 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 headquarters 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.
Furthermore, MSC Türkiye has set up temporary accommodation at Iskenderun port using empty containers for 300 MSC Group employees and their families who unfortunately lost their homes in the earthquake disaster. MSC Türkiye is also arranging for the distribution of food, beverages and items to meet basic needs. In the same way, 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.
“We feel a strong sense of obligation to act promptly in order to support the people most in need by all means. We are a part of a global organization that can set in motion a large-scale operation by involving foundations and associations that we collaborate with all around the world. 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. This is where the valuable collaboration with the Francesca Rava Foundation comes in, which we thank for immediately joining this initiative. 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 been on the front lines of emergency relief operations: in 2022, we provided extraordinary funding worth millions of euros to offer aid to refugees from Ukraine and led eight emergency relief initiatives in nine countries, strengthening our global emergency capabilities,” said Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation.
Mariavittoria Rava, President of the Francesca Rava Foundation, said: “We are wholeheartedly close to the children and families affected by this immense tragedy, which brought back memories of the terrible earthquake that destroyed the very poor Haiti in 2010. As always in emergencies, Francesca Rava Foundation's goal is to act quickly and in agreement with local institutions and partners, as was the case on this occasion also with Joy For Children Aps and Salaheddini Eyyubi Yardim Dernegi, which have already been operating for several years on the Turkish-Syrian border. 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. Thank you.”
Offers of support with MSC’s relief effort should be directed to the MSC Foundation at: firstname.lastname@example.org.