Earthquake response: Japan completes first NATO aid flight to Türkiye
More aircraft carrying aid are due to arrive in Türkiye, as NATO Allies and partners continue to provide assistance following the devastating earthquakes in February. A first shipment of aid from Japan arrived on Friday (17 March 2023).
As part of a NATO-coordinated air-bridge, NATO partner Japan is flying hundreds of tents and other cargo to Türkiye over the coming days. This is the first international emergency relief operation conducted by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in cooperation with NATO, and more Japanese flights are planned for the coming days. Allies and partners have flown around ten thousand tents, blankets and pieces of medical equipment from Pakistan to Türkiye in recent weeks. In early March, France delivered 5,000 tents and thousands of blankets.
NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “NATO deeply values our partnership with Japan. Japan’s decision to deploy aid to Türkiye as part of a NATO-coordinated air-bridge is a historic first, and demonstrates again how Japan’s cooperation with NATO helps to bolster international peace and security.”
In Antakya and Iskenderun, NATO is setting up temporary shelters for 4,000 people left homeless by the earthquakes. The shelters, built by NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency, include heating, power generators and medical treatment areas. The site in Antakya is on track to welcome 2,400 displaced people by mid-April. NATO Allies also recently agreed to provide temporary housing for an additional 4,000 people in Türkiye.
Thousands of emergency responders from across the Alliance as well as Finland, Sweden and Japan, have been engaged in the initial international relief efforts. Allied armed forces have also set up field clinics in Türkiye for quake victims. The earthquakes that struck Türkiye earlier this year were the deadliest natural disaster on Alliance territory since NATO’s foundation.