Cypriots unite to raise vital funds after devastating fire in North Cyprus

More than twenty groups from across Cyprus’ Green Line have joined forces to raise money for the communities affected by the savage June forest fire that spread across Gazimağusa district in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC).

The fire broke out in the mountain forests of Mersinlik on 21 June, and quickly spread to an area some 18,000 square kilometres large, making it the TRNC’s worst fire disaster.

A call for help by the Turkish Cypriot authorities saw firefighting aid sent from Turkiye, South Cyprus, the British Bases in Cyprus, and Israel. This and a miracle downpour on Friday, 24 June, finally helped put out the fire.

Having united to fight the blaze, Cypriots have now come together to help raise funds for those most affected by the fire disaster.

The money will go people who have lost businesses and homes, or were injured, as well as to help reintroduce wildlife to the area where an estimated 100,000 animals are thought to have perished in the fire.

The action follows a similar fundraiser last year for Greek Cypriots, who endured their worst fire in decades that destroyed buildings and large forest area, and injured multiple civilians.

A total of 21 groups are behind the currently fundraising initiative, including Vicinus, Unite Cyprus Now, Avli, HADE, The Cypriot Story, Bicommunal network CYP youth, Green Mahalla, Queer Cyprus, EU Cypriot Students (EUCS), GD4C (Green Deal for Cyprus), and Louroujina Memes. Many of the groups involved have a strong track record of bringing Cypriots together on issues such as the environment.

So far the initiative, which is dubbed “Stronger Together, has raised £1,395, or 69% of their £2,000 target.

In its introduction to the online fundraiser, the organisers wrote: “Cyprus is suffering an ecological and humanitarian disaster. A disaster for not just every Cypriot who pains this land, this country, but for everyone who is human. It is a disaster not just for the environment, but most importantly for the endangerment of people and wildlife.”

The organisers also explain how they intend to help: “Our fundraiser aims to support the recovery of such a devastating event – we will work together with environmental and animal groups, and coordinate with local organisations to ensure that the affected areas are assisted.

“Just like the previous fundraiser last year for the Cyprus Fires, our collaborators will keep 100% transparency regarding where the funds will be distributed to, with evidence of payment in our updated posts . At the time being, we are coordinating communication with local groups on the ground to ensure that any funds raised will be distributed fairly, and to the areas who need it most.”

Click on the link if you would like to contribute to the Cyprus fires 2022 aid fund.