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Dalai Lama Expresses Sadness Over Loss of Life in Türkiye and Syria, Pledges Support for Rescue Effort

His Holiness the Dalai Lama. From

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), a humanitarian organization within the United Nations, expressing his sadness at the devastating loss of life in Türkiye and Syria, which have been shaken by a series of massive earthquakes since Monday.

The Tibetan spiritual leader also offered a pledge that funds would be donated by the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama in support of rescue and relief efforts on the ground.

According to the latest data at the time of writing, the death toll from multiple earthquakes and aftershocks in the region now exceeds 9,600, with at least 7,108 fatalities reported in Türkiye (formerly Turkey), and at least 2,530 more in Syria. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the total figure is likely to surpass 20,000 people in the days ahead.

Time is running out for those still trapped under rubble in Türkiye and Syria. From

In his letter to the WFP dated 7 February, His Holiness stated:

I offer my condolences to those families who have lost loved ones and pray for all those affected by this tragedy.

At the same time, it is heartening to know that in addition to the UN coordinated health teams, NGOs and many countries from around the world are sending support to help the rescue and relief efforts in the quake zones.

As a token of my solidarity with the people of Turkey and Syria affected by this tragedy, I have asked the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama to make a donation towards the rescue and relief efforts.

(His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Onlookers cheer after a young girl is pulled alive from the rubble of a toppled building in Türkiye. From

The border between Türkiye and Syria lies at an interaction point between several geologic plates. Türkiye sits on the small Anatolian tectonic plate, which lies between several other plates that move in different directions. Over the past two days, Türkiye and its neighbor Syria have been hit by at least 81 magnitude-4 quakes, 20 magnitude-5 quakes, three magnitude-6 quakes, and two magnitude-7 quakes.

Amid the suffering and terrifying death toll, more than 8,000 people have been rescued from the debris of collapsed buildings in Türkiye, but the authorities have expressed concern for the thousands more thought to still be missing as rescue teams race against the clock to find survivors.

According to media reports, 70 countries have rushed emergency teams to assist with rescue efforts in Türkiye and Syria, including personnel and relief supplies from Algeria, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Lebanon, India, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with 27 rescue and medical teams from 21 member states in the European Union.

See more

Offering Support to Rescue and Relief Efforts in Turkey and Syria (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama
Death Toll Likely to Surpass 20,000 in Aftermath of Multiple Devastating Earthquakes in Southern Turkiye and Northern Syria (ReliefWeb)
Major earthquakes hit Turkey, Syria: Who is stepping up to help? (Al Jazeera)

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