His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented for the establishment of Turkiye and Syria Earthquake Humanitarian Fund, and the National Committee for Turkiye and Syria Earthquake Humanitarian Fund.
The committee met yesterday at Digadong Hall, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), where Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad attended as special advisors.
Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Tashim bin Pengiran Haji Hassan was also present as Deputy Special Advisor.
The meeting was co-chaired by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) Haji Muhammad Rosli bin Haji Ibrahim and Permanent Secretary (Community) at the MCYS Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari.
Members from government agencies, non-government organisations and the private sector discussed matters related to efforts for the collection of donations from the populace.
The meeting agreed that the period of collection will be three months starting from yesterday to May 14, 2023, to provide ample time for the public to make monetary contributions directly and enable various parties to organise charitable activities to collect donations.
The meeting was preceded by the launch of the SMS Brunei Prihatin for the fund, as part of the efforts to ease donations, in collaboration with DST Sdn Bhd, Progresif Sdn Bhd and imagine Sdn Bhd.
Launched by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin and Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi, the SMS Brunei Prihatin collection will also take place over three months from yesterday to May 14, 2023.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi said, “We sympathise with the well-being of the people in Turkiye and Syria.
“Therefore, the MCYS and the MoRA as well as Ministry of Foreign Affairs held initial discussions to assess the need to establish the Turkiye and Syria earthquake humanitarian fund and had come to an agreement of establishing the fund based on several assessments.”
He continued, “Firstly the relations between Turkiye and Syria are good in addition to both being Islamic countries. Secondly, the enormous scale of the disaster, which is expected to increase day by day.
“And thirdly, the need for immediate assistance. Turkiye and Syria have also appealed to the international community for assistance.”
Meanwhile, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin called on the public to make contributions. He said, “In Brunei Darussalam we are encouraged by religious teachings to help each other for the well-being of all.
“Despite us being a small nation with population, the fund will be meaningful and sincere.”
Contributions can be made through donation boxes available at mosques, suraus and religious halls as well as bank buildings, commercial and public buildings. Donations can also be made through the BIBD QuickPay service by scanning the QR code on posters and stickers of the humanitarian fund or sending directly to the Secretariat of the fund, at Management and Administration Division, Community Development Department at the MCYS building in Jalan Kebangsaan during office hours.
Turkiye and Syria were struck by a massive earthquake on February 6 causing destruction at a significant scale.
More than 36,000 lives have been lost in both countries, with more than 31,000 reported in Turkiye and nearly 5,000 in the Syria.
The number of fatalities is expected to rise while injured and displaced victims are also in dire need of assistance.