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Humanitarian aid of Daimler Trucks and Wings of Help: Wings on Wheels — 11 Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks to bring relief supplies worth €4 million to Syrian refugees in Turkey
- Convoy of Hope — Wings on Wheels to depart from IAA motor show in Frankfurt
- Urgently needed food supplies and medication primarily for women and children
- Approximately 300 pallets of relief supplies will arrive Gaziantep in Southern Turkey in seven days
A convoy carrying relief supplies for Syrian refugees to Gaziantep in Southern Turkey will start off today at the premises of the IAA 2013 motor show in Frankfurt. In Gaziantep, a city close to the Syrian border, the humanitarian aid will be distributed to refugee camps. The Convoy of Hope – Wings on Wheels consists of 11 new Mercedes-Benz Actros semitrailer trucks, which will transport around €4 million worth of relief supplies over a distance of almost 4,000 km to the Turkish-Syrian border.
The joint project between the aid organization Wings of Help and Daimler Trucks will deliver 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.
The convoy will be sent off today by Daimler AG and Wings of Help, to mark Universal Children’s Day (September 20) and will be accompanied by two Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo vehicles.
The bloody conflict in Syria has brought suffering to millions of people who desperately need help. 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, half of the refugees are children.
“The plight of the refugees in the camps, and in particular that of the children, is dramatic. There are drastic shortages of virtually everything in the crisis region. Tents, blankets, and vaccines are desperately needed. That’s why we are supporting Wings of Help’s efforts by providing 11 Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks that will transport urgently needed relief supplies. In this way, in collaboration with Wings of Help, we can help to alleviate some of the suffering and give the refugees hope for the future,” says Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, the Daimler Board of Management Member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses.
As of July 2013, about 3,500 babies have been born in the camps. Even the most basic needs are not being met. For example, there are neither adequate supplies of food, water, and medication nor enough medical personnel and emergency shelters. The Convoy of Hope is supplying the camps with €800,000 worth of urgently needed baby food that was donated by German companies — in other words, enough to feed 100,000 children. Around 50,000 children will receive vaccinations, especially against measles.
The trucks will also transport two ambulances based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as well as 350 new wheelchairs for elderly and handicapped refugees in the camps. The delivery also contains seven “emergency kits,” which will make it possible to provide 70,000 people with basic medical care for up to three months.
The approaching winter is playing an important role in planning activities. One of the refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border is located at an altitude of 700 meters. Here, temperatures often drop below zero 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.
“We are delighted that together with Daimler Trucks we were able to organize this aid convoy so quickly. After all, the number of refugees has meanwhile climbed to more than one million and the camps are overflowing. It’s a major disaster. According to the United Nations, it is in fact the worst human catastrophe that the UN has ever had to cope with,” says Frank Franke, President of Wings of Help.
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.
The 11 vehicles that will be sent off today are new, Euro VI-compliant Mercedes-Benz Actros semitrailer trucks. The 18-ton trucks have 2.5-meter-wide StreamSpace cabs. They are equipped with the automated Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission as standard, as well as with the assistance and safety systems Active Brake Assist 3 and Attention Assist. In addition, the trucks feature Predictive Powertrain Control, which is integrated into the automated transmission so that driving can be adapted to the topography. The Mercedes-Benz Actros is powered by the current OM 471 Blue Efficiency Power engine, which has an output of 310 kW (421 hp). The truck consumes up to five percent less fuel than its predecessor, which had a Euro V-compliant engine. The new Actros’ extremely low total cost of ownership is also the result of specially coordinated and closely interlinked services such as the standard-fitted telematics system FleetBoard®. With sales of around 800,000 vehicles since its launch in 1996, the Mercedes-Benz Actros is the world’s most successful heavy-duty truck.