The NATO will install semi-permanent shelters in Turkeyequipped to house people displaced by the devastating earthquakes of February 6, the organization announced this Friday.
"NATO stands in strong solidarity with our ally Turkey and the deployment of these shelter facilities will help save lives," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.
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The Norwegian politician added that NATO allies and partners "are providing substantial support to relief efforts and we will continue to do everything possible to help those in need," he concluded.
NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, will lead the operation.
The shelters to be set up by NATO are headquarters complexes it typically deploys for exercises and operations, and can be equipped with various amenities such as heating, electric generators and medical treatment areas.
NATO military authorities are now studying the best transportation and logistics options, as well as deployment timelines.
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These capabilities are handled by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) at its Southern Operating Center in Taranto, Italy. Once installed, this semi-permanent infrastructure will complement the winterized tents already being provided by countries members and partners of the Alliance.
Thousands of emergency response personnel from more than 20 NATO allies and 30 partner countries, including Finland and Sweden invited to join the Alliance, are currently involved in relief efforts.
This includes the provision of search teams with rescue dogs, fire and structural engineering experts, medical personnel and supplies, and seismic experts.
The aid is being provided through NATO's Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC), which is the Alliance's main civil emergency response mechanism in the Euro-Atlantic area.
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The center is active all year round, works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all NATO Allies and partner countries participate in it, the organization recalled.
Specifically, it works as an information exchange system to coordinate both requests and offers of help, mainly in the event of natural or man-made catastrophes.