Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Germany’s Dortmund extends a helping hand to northern Syria

On April 27, 2023, the Municipality of Dortmund in Germany provided the Syrian people with two telescopic rescue vehicles and a car that can be used as an ambulance as part of a donation program organized by the city to help the people in northwest Syria in facing the effects of the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and northern Syria.

The three vehicles with organizations’ teams in the headquarters of the Fifth Fire Fighters’ Centre, Dortmund, Germany; Credit: Moustafa Alsaied

Martin van der Botten, head of the international relations office in the Municipality of Dortmund, located in the German state of North Rhine, handed over the vehicles and the transfer papers to Aisha al-Saleh, President of the Free German-Syrian Association, in a ceremony attended by representatives of Train of Hope and Warmth Without Borders, two humanitarian organizations that effectively contributed to the completion of the process.

“Cooperation with these associations is very important to us because they already have good long-term contacts in earthquake areas and know what is needed locally. We are happy to be able to work with them,” Martin van der Botten said.

Mr. Martin van der Botten; Credit: Moustafa Alsaied

“the need for aid is even more crucial now than it was a few years ago”

Aysha al-Saleh, president of the Free German-Syrian Association in Hamburg

Aysha al-Saleh, president of the Free German-Syrian Association in Hamburg, said that aid was necessary for those affected by the earthquake, adding that the aid “will be sent to” the civil defense organization (The White Helmets) which has “extensive experience in rescue operations during the war and after the bombings.”

Al-Saleh went on to say that the infrastructure was completely destroyed by the earthquake in a matter of moments and that is why “the need for aid is even more crucial now than it was a few years ago,” while expressing her organization’s appreciation for Dortmund’s continued efforts in making this assistance possible.

Jamil Alyou said that his association, the Train of Hope, mainly helped in translating explanatory instructions for the use of the vehicles from German into Arabic.

More donations to come

A Dortmund municipality statement said the city would also donate a total of five commercial vehicles and small vehicles from the municipality’s fleet, one of which would first be converted and equipped in Germany to become a mobile medical clinic before being shipped to Syria. The other four commercial vehicles were scheduled to follow in the coming weeks with the help of a transport truck to the quake zone.

The city of Dortmund is now cooperating through the International Relations Office to transport relief supplies to Syria with the Free German-Syrian Association in Hamburg, which has good experience in solving the logistical problems

Dortmund’s aid also included a shipment of medical supplies in the form of gloves, hand and surface sanitizers, and blankets.

Dortmund With You campaign

The city of Dortmund is now cooperating through the International Relations Office to transport relief supplies to Syria with the Free German-Syrian Association in Hamburg, which has good experience in solving the logistical problems facing aid arrivals to the afflicted people which can only be delivered to the country with the help of internationally active networks of Syrian aid organizations.

The three vehicles donated to Syria’s White Helmets; Credit: Moustafa Alsaied

After the earthquake disaster in the border area of Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023, the Dortmund City Council decided at its meeting on March 23, 2023, to provide comprehensive support in the form of aid shipments to the earthquake-affected areas due to the dire need for supportive medical care and development of infrastructure locally, thus showing solidarity with the local population.

The assistance network for this project extended from the Free German-Syrian Association to include the Port of Hamburg, the Beit Rahma Charity Organization, the Sabeel Organization, the Hamburg Aid Caravan, the Warmth Without Borders Campaign, and the Dortmund Train of Hope.

Moustafa Alsaied
Moustafa Alsaied
Syrian Journalist

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