Emergency session: Continuation of the FBiH Government’s activities on providing assistance to the Republic of Turkey and Syria

The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at today’s emergency meeting, held by telephone, got acquainted with the information of the Federal Administration of Civil Protection about the dispatch of the Federal Specialized Unit for Rescue from Ruins (USAR team) to the Republic of Turkey for the urgent rescue of victims of earthquakes.

The Federal Administration of Civil Protection and the Federal Headquarters of Civil Protection are responsible for, in accordance with the conclusion of the Government of the Federation dated February 6, 2023. continued activities to provide assistance in areas affected by earthquakes in the Republic of Turkey and Syria.

The Federal Administration of Civil Protection is responsible for successively submitting requests to the Federal Ministry of Finance for the allocation of funds from the Current Reserve of the Government of the Federation for the year 2023 to finance the costs of engaging Federal specialized units and protection and rescue services.

The information stated that the Federal specialized unit for rescue from ruins (USAR team) of 42 members was sent on February 7 and 8 from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Republic of Turkey. It was also stated that the Federal Administration of Civil Protection urgently implemented all necessary procedures for crossing state borders and on February 7, 2023. sent a part of the unit of 25 members trained and qualified for rescue from ruins with 11 vehicles and complete rescue equipment, as well as two search dogs. The rest of the 17-member USAR team, also with two search dogs and personal rescue equipment, was sent by air from Sarajevo International Airport to the Republic of Turkey on February 8.

Immediately after the arrival of the USAR team on February 9 in Hatay, in southeastern Turkey, 10 members of the unit were sent to the task of clearing the rubble of a multi-story building that needed to be searched urgently. The second part of the team worked on the formation of the camp and organizing the reception of the rest of the unit that arrived in Hatay on February 10, 2023. years.

The USAR team works continuously 24 hours a day in shifts and are assigned to tasks they receive from the Office of Natural Disasters and Emergencies (AFAD) of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Turkey.

In the following days, this team continued with the cleaning and search of the multi-story building, using the machines at their disposal and hiring search dogs. He also handed over a donation of 15 tents to AFAD for the needs of taking care of the vulnerable population who were left without homes. At the request of AFAD, the unit formed a team of five rescuers for the so-called quick search, and who, with the help of search dogs and endoscopic cameras, continued the search for survivors in the ruins. All task execution activities were performed in coordination with the AFAD liaison officer assigned to the USAR team.

In the information, they note that the working conditions are extremely difficult, considering that it is an unprecedented disaster in which the members of the unit encounter very shocking scenes during the daily extraction of earthquake victims. Also, they are facing new ground tremors, and the rescue operations must be stopped until the ground calms down.

In the function of the Federal Service for Protection and Rescue, there are also members of the Mountain Rescue Service of FBiH, and in the information they state that a total of 72 members of this service and two search dogs were sent to Turkey on February 8 and 12. 

In addition to dispatching rescue teams, the FBiH Government sent winter tents and sleeping bags to the affected areas through the Federal Directorate of Commodity Reserves and with the coordination of FUCZ as part of the activities of providing assistance to victims of the devastating earthquake. The allocated aid for Turkey has already been accepted by AFAD, which further distributed it, according to priorities, to the most vulnerable areas. Also, aid for the area of ​​Syria was sent through the humanitarian organization International Forum of Solidarity EMMAUS and the organization IHH.

Source: fbihvlada.gov.ba