By Burak Bir
LONDON (AA) — Pakistani and Kashmiri communities in the UK have raised £370,000 ($454,000) to support the victims of last month's powerful earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
Dinners were held across the UK in Manchester, Bradford, London, and Milton Keynes to raise funds for the quake victims, UK-based Aghosh relief organization said in a statement on Monday.
The last charity dinner was held on Sunday night in Birmingham, a joint effort by the Alkhidmat Foundation and Aghosh relief organization.
"Aghosh UK decided to build an orphanage in Gaziantep for 250 orphans," Fahim Kayani, a co-founder of the aid group and a Kashmiri diaspora leader, said in the statement.
Noting how the situation was "far worse" in Syria, the statement noted that people there didn't have the tools to carry on search and rescue work and neither the equipment nor the drugs to treat injured people in hospitals.
The dinners also featured fund-raising auctions with a cricket bat signed by Pakistani players, the statement said.
On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck southern and southeastern Türkiye, claiming the lives of over 50,000 people.
Some 13.5 million people have been affected across 11 provinces in Türkiye, namely Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, and Elazig.
In neighboring Syria, at least 4,500 people were killed and more than 8,700 injured.