Convoy of Hope – Wings on Wheels brings aid to Gaziantep in southern Turkey
300 pallets of urgently needed food and medicine to be distributed, primarily to women and children
Convoy traveled 4,000 kilometers in six days without a hitch
The “Convoy of Hope – Wings on Wheels,” consisting of 11 new Mercedes-Benz Actros articulated trucks, has reached its destination: the city of Gaziantep in southern Turkey near the Syrian border. This is where the distribution center for humanitarian aid to the refugee camps is located. The aid convoy transported urgently needed aid supplies valued at approximately €4 million to this border area between Turkey and Syria after completing a land journey of almost 4,000 kilometers.
The convoy started out on 19 September from the IAA in Frankfurt. The six-day journey took it through six countries with very different road conditions: Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The convoy completed its long trek with no problems, except for long delays at some national borders. Many car drivers cheered the convoy on as it passed. On Monday, 23 September, the Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Türk held a press conference in Istanbul to mark the convoy’s passage. In Istanbul the convoy was joined by three trucks carrying flour, sugar, and other goods. Directly after the press conference, the convoy proceeded on its way in order to bring its urgently awaited supplies to its destination.
The joint project of Wings of Help and Daimler Trucks delivered tents, baby food, wheelchairs, two ambulances, seven mobile medical centers, 10,000 blankets, winter clothing for 40,000 people, and 50,000 child vaccinations to the Syrian refugees in the border region.
“Good news has reached us from Turkey. Our convoy of 11 Actros trucks carrying urgently needed aid supplies has arrived safely in Gaziantep. I believe that as a result of this transport, the conflict in Syria and the fate of the people there has become just a bit more real for all of us. Let’s hold on to the readiness to take on responsibility and the positive spirit that have accompanied our Convoy of Hope. This campaign of ours has demonstrated one thing: Everyone can help, and every bit of help counts!” said Wolfgang Bernhard, the Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses.
Millions of people are suffering because of the bloody conflict in Syria, and they urgently require assistance. The fighting has now been going on for over two years, and children are suffering the most. Overall, 70 percent of Syrian refugees are women and children; in fact, almost half of the refugees are children.
The convoy has reached the refugee camps just in time to deliver the supplies before the onset of winter. One of the refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border is located at an altitude of 700 meters. Here, temperatures often drop below freezing at night. This is why the convoy is also delivering winter-proof tents for 2,000 people as well as 10,000 blankets and winter clothing for 40,000 refugees.
Wings of Help, which is based at Frankfurt Airport, has been providing immediate disaster relief worldwide for the past ten years. The organization uses aircraft to transport urgently needed relief supplies to disaster victims. Wings of Help receives support from the airport’s operator and airlines.