Following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, bpost has partnered with Turkey’s national postal operator PTT to collect donations at post offices and transport them to Istanbul.
From February 21 to March 31, 2023, anyone in Belgium can drop off vital supplies at one of 657 post offices throughout the country. Vital supplies include cans of fish, meat, vegetables, fruit or soup; powdered baby milk; cereals (muesli, cornflakes, granola); nuts and dried fruits; packaged cookies; soap, shower gel and shampoo; toothbrushes and toothpaste; panty liners, sanitary pads and tampons; baby diapers and wet wipes; blankets and sleeping bags; and external batteries (power banks). Only these items will be accepted. Donors should ensure that they do not include products with a solid box or glass packaging.
Donations will be forwarded to a bpost fulfillment center, where they will be sorted and packed up for transport to PTT in Istanbul. According to bpost, it drew on its experience from the ongoing Ukraine war and successful partnership with Ukrposhta in sending humanitarian convoys from Belgium. However, local security problems mean that no such deliveries can be made to Syria.
Bpost has also joined with non-governmental organization Consortium 12-12 to offer aid to the seven Consortium 12-12 humanitarian organizations (Caritas Internationalis, Médecins du Monde, Humanity & Inclusion, Oxfam Solidarity Belgium, Belgian Red Cross, Plan International Belgium and UNICEF Belgium) providing emergency support to victims in the affected areas. Donations can be made online at 1212.be or can be paid directly into account BE19 0000 0000 1212. The easiest way to donate is to text ‘Help’ to 4330. Each text message costs €1 (US$1.06). The full amount goes to the Red Cross in the countries in question.
Jos Donvil, CEO of bpost Belgium, said, “Helping citizens is in bpost’s DNA. The call for solidarity came from all directions, including employees, customers and drivers. It is impossible not to be moved by the suffering of the victims and their loved ones. We are joining forces with our Turkish colleagues at PTT, combining our logistics experience to transport and distribute the products the people there are desperately in need of.”
Petra De Sutter, minister responsible for bpost, commented, “Every day we see images of people struggling to survive in the middle of collapsed buildings. Their daily lives have been buried under the rubble. By sending sleeping bags, powdered baby milk or canned food through bpost to the areas affected by the disaster, you are saving lives. Every Belgian citizen has a post office nearby, so everyone can help the thousands of Syrian and Turkish victims.”