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Saturday 18 February 2023

Cruise line pitches in to aid earthquake victims

Here's a good news story from the travel industry with cruise operator the MSC Group and the MSC Foundation pitching in to aid earthquake relief initiatives in Turkiye and Syria.

The MSC Aurelia left Naples on February 16 en route to the port of Iskenderun with 60 pallets of basic medical supplies, warm clothing and blankets, and food and beverages.

After offloading its cargo, the MSC Aurelia will remain docked in port in Türkiye, at the authorities’ disposal, to provide accommodation for those impacted by the earthquake.

MSC is also arranging for the provision of thousands of empty containers for the provinces that have been hit the hardest by the earthquake to accommodate families who have been displaced.

MSC Aurelia is normally used as a passenger and vehicle ferry. It will provide impacted communities with over 1,000 beds and leisure spaces including a restaurant and cinema.

In addition, thanks to the collaboration between the MSC Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a further 100 containers carrying first aid supplies (including blankets, mattresses, sleeping bags, kitchen sets, jerry cans and lamps will depart from Jordan via Haifa, the headquarters of the UN Refugee Agency’s warehouses.

The containers are destined for Gaziantep and other cities hit hardest by the earthquake and will be at the disposal of the relief workers already onsite caring for survivors.

MSC Türkiye has also set up temporary accommodation at Iskenderun port using empty containers for 300 MSC Group employees and their families who lost their homes in the earthquake.

“We feel a strong sense of obligation to act promptly in order to support the people most in need," said Daniela Picco, executive director of the MSC Foundation.

"We are a part of a global organization that can set in motion a large-scale operation by 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."

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