THE Scottish Government is contributing £500,000 to help with aid efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The death toll from Monday’s quake has now risen above 11,000, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke of the “heart-wrenching” scenes.

She said members of the emergency services in Scotland have already been dispatched to help with the search and rescue operation.

With the quake having caused a “huge amount of damage and a significant loss of life”, Sturgeon also urged Scots to donate cash to help with the relief effort if possible.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Scotland will officially launch an appeal on Thursday to raise urgent funds to help the rescue and relief effort.

READ MORE: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sends four firefighters to Turkey

The UK Government has pledged to match the first £2 million of donations from the British public to the DEC’s Turkey-Syria earthquake appeal, as part of its package of support.

The 7.8-magnitude quake hit southern Turkey in the early hours of Monday, followed by powerful aftershocks, reducing thousands of buildings across the country and northern Syria to rubble as people slept.

Sturgeon said: “The scenes over the last few days from Turkey and Syria are heart-wrenching.

“This earthquake has caused a huge amount of damage and significant loss of life that will be felt for some time to come.

“There is an urgent need to support the humanitarian efforts being made to help those affected in Turkey and Syria.

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting efforts in the region and members of our emergency services have already been deployed to help the search and rescue operation on the ground.

“We will provide £500,000 in humanitarian aid to the DEC appeal to support those affected with medical care, shelter, food and clean water.

“Members of the public can also pledge support and make donations to the DEC appeal in a variety of ways and I encourage everyone to consider donating to the DEC if they can do so. The people of Turkey and Syria desperately need our support.”

The DEC brings together 15 leading aid charities, and Christian Aid Scotland chief Sally Foster-Fulton has been made the chair of its Turkey-Syria earthquake appeal in Scotland.

She said: “The devastation caused by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria is utterly shocking, with so many lives lost.

“Families have lost children, wives, husbands, parents, sisters and brothers. In some cases, entire families have been wiped out.

“In Turkey alone, 6,000 buildings including schools and health centres have collapsed, with infrastructure vital to everyday life such as sanitation and water supplies badly damaged.

“Funds are urgently needed to support families with medical aid, emergency shelter, food and clean water in bitterly cold winter weather conditions.

“Whatever you can do to donate, it will make a difference.”

People can donate online at or by calling 0370 60 60 610. Texting SUPPORT to 70787 will donate £10 to the fund, while people can also make donations over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or by sending a cheque by post to DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA.