MSC Cruises, as part of the MSC Group, which includes the MSC Foundation, has sent a ship loaded with humanitarian aid to Türkiye, for distribution in Türkiye and Syria following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on February 6th.
The earthquake devastated southern and central Türkiye and northern and western Syria, with 46,957 killed, 41,156 in Türkiye and 5,801 in Syria. It is the deadliest earthquake in Türkiye since the days of the Byzantine Empire.
The earthquake destroyed entire city blocks and has left more than a million people homeless. MSC Cruises has therefore sent aid items most urgently needed in a crisis of this kind, including medical supplies, food, hygiene items, warm clothing and blankets.
The cruise line has also sent toys and crayons for children, along with 50 boxes of thermal shirts on behalf of the Vatican. The humanitarian cargo arrived in Türkiye by ship, carried aboard one of MSC’s ferries, the MSC Aurelia.
Once in Türkiye, MSC Aurelia also doubled up as emergency accommodation, providing those impacted by the earthquake with over 1,000 beds as well as a restaurant and cinema and a video-game entertainment for children.
This in addition to the humanitarian efforts being carried out by MSC Cruises’ parent organization, MSC Shipping, which has worked with the UN Refugee Agency to ship an additional 100 containers carrying first aid supplies including blankets, mattresses, sleeping bags, kitchen sets, jerry cans and lamps from Jordan via Haifa
“We feel a strong sense of obligation to act promptly in order to support the people most in need by all means,” said Daniela Picco, executive director of the MSC Foundation. “We are a part of a global organisation that can set in motion a large-scale operation 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,” he added. “This is where the valuable collaboration with the Francesca Rava Foundation comes in, which we thank for immediately joining this initiative.”