KOICA dispatches Korea Disaster Relief Team (KDRT) members to respond to earthquake damage in Türkiye



- Six KOICA staff members who are part of the Korea Disaster Relief Team (KDRT) depart for Türkiye on Feb. 8 via military transport plane 

- Dispatched KOICA personnel who make up the KDRT secretariat plan to oversee logistics and budget organization and support on-site activities 


The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) dispatched six staff members who are part of the Korea Disaster Relief Team (KDRT) on Feb. 8 to support response to the earthquake in Türkiye.

The dispatched staff, who have previously received emergency relief training as KDRT members, departed around 1:15 a.m. on Feb. 8 via military transport plane, alongside a rescue team comprised of urban search and rescue personnel and safety support personnel. The dispatched relief team consists of 118 members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, National Fire Agency, and KOICA.  

*Deputy Country Director Park Wan-kyu of the KOICA Egypt Office was dispatched to Türkiye for preparations prior to the dispatch of KDRT. A total of seven KOICA staff have thus been dispatched to Türkiye.

Based on reports from the first dispatch, KOICA plans to determine a follow-up dispatch of KDRT members and prepare the composition of the team and scheduling.

KDRT is an emergency relief team speedily dispatched by the Korean government to support the reduction of damage, recovery, rescue, and medical relief in countries where disaster has occurred. Established in 2007 based on the enactment of the Overseas Emergency Relief Act and Enforcement Decree, KDRT has been dispatched to affected countries during 8 disasters until now.

*Dam collapse in Laos; earthquakes in Nepal, Haiti, Indonesia, and China; Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone; cyclone in Myanmar; and typhoon in the Philippines

KDRT is jointly operated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KOICA, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of National Defense, National Fire Agency, National 119 Rescue Headquarters, National Medical Center, and Korea Foundation for International Healthcare. KOICA serves the role of secretariat, assisting the head of KDRT, overseeing logistics and budget, and coordinating and supporting disaster site activities. 

“KOICA will do its utmost to provide support as the secretariat so that KDRT can carry out relief activities in a coordinated way at the disaster site in Türkiye,” said Director-General Chung You-a of the Department of Multilateral Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance of KOICA.

KOICA annually conducts the KDRT joint simulation training, aligning the strong inter-organizational cooperative system and strengthening readiness. At the joint simulation training that took place on Oct. 12-14, 2022, KDRT resumed in-person training that had been halted following COVID-19 and carried out large-scale training exercises including on-board training, military transport aircraft loading, and field training.

The dispatched KDRT rescue team has been classified as “Heavy” by the UN’s International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG). The classification is given to self-sufficient teams that can carry out work in two disaster sites simultaneously for 10 days (24 hours a day).