Sheikh Mohammed’s speech comes against a backdrop of heavy Qatari aid in earthquake-stricken Turkey
Qatar would never hesitate to act as an effective strategic partner in response to needs and challenges, the country’s foreign minister said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said the Gulf state will continue taking the lead to collaborate closely with different institutions, support initiatives to fortify the global alliance, and lessen the responsibilities of shared difficulties.
The Qatari diplomat’s remarks were made as part of a recorded speech on Wednesday before the Special High-Level Event of the General Assembly and ECOSOC.
He also noted the international community’s solidarity in supporting the least developed countries in implementing the Doha Programme of Action will aid in achieving results capable to withstand future crises.
The Doha Programme of Action is designed to support the people in least developed countries in their efforts to regain momentum and redevelop.
While current crises highlight the necessity of stepping up multilateral cooperation and concerted collective action, the foreign minister explained that the shifting global landscape and its numerous challenges, such as the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, the food and energy crisis, and ongoing conflicts, continue to place heavy burdens, especially on the least developed countries.
However, the Qatari official expressed his confidence that the positive momentum that marked the adoption of the programme will continue during the second part of the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) due to be held in Doha from 5-9 March.
Sheikh Mohammed’s speech comes against a backdrop of heavy Qatari aid in Turkey, where one of the strongest natural disasters has claimed the lives of at least 12,000 people and prompted a disaster zone in the ten provinces impacted by the earthquakes.
The natural disasters of Monday are likely to go down in history as one of the strongest earthquakes to have occurred in decades. As it stands, a fast-rising death toll has surpassed 15,000 people in both Turkey and Syria. The first 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck early in the morning with the epicenter close to the city of Gaziantep.
Later on Monday, a second quake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck southeast Turkey.
At least 2,992 were killed in Syria and 12,873 in Turkey, according to the latest reports. Tens of thousands are also believed to be injured as rescue operations continue to race against time to pull survivors trapped under the rubble.
Qatar steps in, again
Qatar’s Red Crescent Society has allocated a major $1 million from its Disaster Response Fund for immediate relief efforts, the organisation confirmed on Wednesday.
So far, four mobile clinics have been deployed by QRCS’s representation mission in Turkey to Jisr Al Shughur, Al Dana, western Aleppo countryside, and Idlib to offer affected people at makeshift shelters emergency medical services (EMS) and psychological support.
Dedicated staff from the mission’s field are currently deployed to help with Syria’s search and rescue efforts, given the lack of resources and aid to the war-torn country.
Medical personnel from Doha are also expected to fly soon to northern Syria to provide EMS to the victims and support hospitals and health centres in the specialties of general surgery, emergency medicine, orthopaedics, paediatrics, ophthalmology, anaesthesia, and mental health.
Per estimations, the organisation’s recent efforts and donations are expected to help over 10,000 people from both countries.
A $10 million fundraising drive was also started to aid people in needed areas of food, water, sanitation, shelter, and health care.
Other Qatar-based charities are also lending a hand to support the victims during the tragedy.
The Qatar Fund for Development successfully transported on Wednesday 108 tonnes of urgent aid onboard three planes to Turkey and Syria.
The Gulf nation did not stop there as it further allocated 10,000 mobile homes in both countries just hours after Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced an air bridge to transport humanitarian aid.
A team from Qatar’s Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya) are also on the ground assisting with search and rescue operations in conjunction with local Turkish authorities across earthquake-affected regions of southern Turkey.
Doha News Journalist Mohamed Eltayeb, who flew out to Turkey with the Lekhwiya forces, reported a city filled with anxious residents and survivors traumatised by Monday’s incident.
In the heart of the city, located 20 miles from the epicentre of the initial major quake, businesses are closed and instead have become shelters for those worried about collapsing buildings.