After the recent devastating earthquake in both Türkiye and Syria, the MSC Foundation and the MSC Group are doing what they can to assist the two countries after the massive destruction and overwhelming loss of life. The entire MSC family is committed to providing aid to both populations by organizing various ways to assist Türkiye and Syria. The company also has close ties with the Turkish authorities, the Italian Foreign Ministry, and the Vatican. MSC is planning to use MSC Aurelia, primarily a passenger and vehicle ferry, to transport basic necessities to the affected areas. On February 16, MSC Aurelia departed from the Port of Naples and headed for the port of Iskenderun (Alexandretta). 

With the capacity to transport 40 trucks and over 400 cars, MSC Aurelia was successfully able to pack tons of first aid items and basic necessities collected by the MSC Group and the MSC Foundation, in collaboration with the Rava Foundation. The supplies onboard include food, hygiene necessities, 60 pallets of medical supplies, warm clothing, blankets, and toys and crayons for all the children affected by this catastrophic earthquake. There are also an additional 50 boxes of thermal shirts on board that have been donated by the Vatican. 

Once MSC Aurelia reaches the port of Iskenderun (Alexandretta), the ship will be available for any emergency accommodations, assisting the devastated communities. The ship has over 1,000 beds, leisure spaces, a restaurant, a cinema, and a wide array of video-game entertainment for the children. 

Providing Aid to the Hardest Hit Areas 

The MSC Foundation has also partnered with the UN Refugee Agency (also known as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) to transport an additional 100 containers containing items like blankets, mattresses, sleeping bags, kitchen sets, jerry cans, and lamps. The containers will depart from Jordan via Haifa, where the headquarters of the UN Refugee Agency’s warehouses are located. The containers will head toward Gaziantep and other cities in desperate need of supplies. These supplies will be handed over to the relief workers that are already onsite to assist the survivors. 

MSC Türkiye has also set up temporary housing at the port of Iskenderun for the 300 MSC Group employees whose homes were destroyed in the earthquake. MSC Türkiye will also be providing food, beverages, and other basic necessities. MSC Group is also collaborating with the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs to provide thousands of containers to four of Türkiye’s most devastatingly affected areas, which now consist of Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Hatay, and Kahramanmaraş. The containers will be used as temporary housing for the survivors of the natural disaster. 

Fundraising Efforts 

Both the MSC Group and the MSC Foundation have also started a global fundraising initiative among the company’s employees. For every employee donation, the MSC Foundation will match it. The money will be allocated towards aiding the organizations already working on reconstruction and building projects in both Türkiye and Syria.

“We feel a strong sense of obligation to act promptly in order to support the people most in need by all means. We are a part of a global organization that can set in motion a large-scale operation by involving foundations and associations that we collaborate with all around the world. As soon as the terrible earthquake in Türkiye and Syria struck, we immediately took action to collect funds, supplies and food, which we can deliver on our ships within a short period of time. This is where the valuable collaboration with the Francesca Rava Foundation comes in, which we thank for immediately joining this initiative. The departure of MSC Aurelia from the port of Naples is an initial example of what we are doing, while we keep on working to provide associations and governments with what we can, so that by sea and by land some comfort can reach those who are presently living in dire situations and, in the future, for the rebuilding of cities and the environment. It is not the first time that MSC Foundation and the MSC Group have been on the front lines of emergency relief operations: in 2022, we provided extraordinary funding worth millions of euros to offer aid to refugees from Ukraine and led eight emergency relief initiatives in nine countries, strengthening our global emergency capabilities,” said Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation.


Mariavittoria Rava, President of the Francesca Rava Foundation, said: “We are wholeheartedly close to the children and families affected by this immense tragedy, which brought back memories of the terrible earthquake that destroyed the very poor Haiti in 2010. As always in emergencies, Francesca Rava Foundation’s goal is to act quickly and in agreement with local institutions and partners, as was the case on this occasion also with Joy For Children Aps and Salaheddini Eyyubi Yardim Dernegi, which have already been operating for several years on the Turkish-Syrian border. I am deeply grateful to the MSC Foundation for this important and valuable synergy, which allows us to bring further concrete help to the earthquake victims. In emergencies, it is always very important to identify the most urgent needs right away and develop targeted and timely action. To continue to help we need funds: stay close to us, together we can make a difference in the lives of those who suffer. Thank you.”