SEOUL, March 7 (Korea Bizwire) — President Yoon Suk Yeol said Tuesday that South Korea will provide over US$10 million to help Turkey build shelters for survivors of last month’s devastating earthquake.
Yoon unveiled the plan during a luncheon with members of the Korea Disaster Relief Team who were sent to Turkey shortly after the Feb. 6 quake to help with rescue and recovery work.
“The spirit of solidarity you showed on the field in Turkey reminded us once again that South Korea and Turkey are true friends that help each other in difficulty,” Yoon said during the event at the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae.
“The government and the private sector will jointly provide over $10 million in finances to take part in the Turkish government’s planned temporary housing project for displaced people, and plan to actively support everything from its creation to operation,” he said.
South Korea sent a total of 142 rescue workers, military personnel, nongovernmental organization workers and foreign ministry officials to Turkey in the aftermath of the earthquake.
The team helped rescue eight people from under the rubble and later took part in reconstruction work.
Yoon said the Korea Shipowners’ Association has decided to supply 250 used shipping containers for use as temporary shelters for the displaced, and the government will help transport them to Turkey as early as possible in March and April.
“Our government will continue to support Turkey’s recovery and reconstruction in line with your dedication and our people’s warm hearts,” Yoon said, thanking the rescue team for their dedication and hard work.
Meanwhile, Yoon opened his remarks by expressing his condolences over the death of a firefighter who died in the line of duty in Gimje, 196 kilometers south of Seoul, on Monday night.
Before the luncheon, Yoon and first lady Kim Keon Hee held a separate meeting with four rescue dogs that took part in search operations in Turkey.
The dogs — Tobaek, Tori, Tina and Haetae — helped find three survivors and 12 bodies in the rubble, according to presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon.
Tobaek had been photographed carrying out search operations with a bandage around one of his front legs after being injured.
The president and the first lady watched the dogs give a trial performance of their rescue work and fastened a patch bearing their names and the South Korean and Turkish national flags on each dog’s vest.