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3rd contingent of disaster relief team assigned for Turkiye quake relief

The third contingent of the Korea Disaster Relief Team (KDRT) to perform search-and-rescue operations in Turkiye (Turkey) will soon depart for the quake-ravaged country.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin on March 8 said, "Providing a sustainable basis of livelihood through the third contingent's dispatch will give victims the courage to carry on with their daily lives."

He was speaking at the third joint public-private meeting on overseas emergency relief for the quake-ravaged nation at his ministry's building in Seoul's Jongno-gu District.

The government in the meeting also decided to dispatch a business research group for temporary disaster recovery.

The group will comprise experts from the private and public sectors centered on the ministry to take the lead in restoration efforts. Details of this project will be planned  through consultation with the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management and other related agencies.  

With members from the ministry, Korea International Cooperation Agency and private relief organizations, the group is slated to serve in Turkiye from March 15-23. An advance party will leave on March 12.

Seoul and the private sector will also jointly raise USD 10 million in funds to support the construction and operation of temporary residential villages for the victims that are socially and economically viable and sustainable as part of temporary restoration process.

This plan includes measures like construction of temporary housing using shipping containers on a scale equal to about 500 buildings, implementation of social welfare facilities and  programs, and basic vocational training in connection to the disaster recovery industry.

Twice last month, Seoul dispatched a KDRT contingent to Turkiye immediately after the disaster struck on Feb. 6 to search for survivors, conduct a survey on demand for relief work for victims and deliver relief goods.

"This is the first time for our government to provide support ranging from the stage of search-and-rescue operations for survivors to that of temporary disaster recovery since the 2007, when the Overseas Emergency Relief Act was enacted, followed by the dispatch of relief teams," Minister Park said.

"Such government support activities are successful examples of the link between humanitarian aid and development agenda that has long been discussed by the international community."

Seoul will extend support for disaster recovery efforts in Turkiye through close cooperation with the Turkish government and the private sector.

By Hong Angie