Ways to Help Turkey and Syria
On February 6, 2023, a massive, magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck in south central Turkey near the Turkey and Syria border. It was followed by a magnitude 7.5 magnitude earthquake and dozens of aftershocks.
The death toll from the Turkey and Syria earthquakes has now surpassed 50,000, and could easily quadruple in the next 10 days to two weeks. Many people are currently stranded in freezing conditions.
As rescue and relief services mobilize around the world to send medical personnel and equipment, food and water and other critical materials to the region, long term, critical problems are on the horizon. The human loss here is of staggering proportions. Entire communities have been destroyed, vital infrastructure has collapsed, and the region needs our help in every conceivable way, from immediate medical aid to rebuilding schools; from caring for the injured to burying the dead; from reuniting families to preserving what’s left of the economic base.
And you can help in every conceivable way, from donating money now to organizations who will put it to immediate use, to donating your time and sharing your expertise in the weeks and months ahead, as the long rebuilding process slowly commences.
Below is a preliminary list list of the aid and relief organizations where you can donate:
Your donation to CARE Turkey will aid in the delivery of essential items like blankets, food, mattresses and tents to people seeking refuge from the earthquake.
In Turkey, UNICEF is providing immediate assistance in the distribution of hygiene kits, blankets and warm clothing to children and families in need. UNICEF teams have also coordinated the evacuation to safe spaces of children living in group homes in areas affected by the quake.The initial focus of UNICEF’s emergency response in Syria is on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection services, nutrition and education.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is on the ground in northwest Syria, providing medical care and assistance around the clock. They are supporting medical facilities to treat patients, facilitating transport of patients by supporting ambulances, and providing immediate relief items such as blankets and hygiene kits.
In both Turkey and Syria, Save the Children is prioritizing the immediate, lifesaving needs of families. Over the coming days and weeks they are planning to distribute cash, tents, and hygiene materials; provide health and psychological support services; and help reunite children and families separated in the chaos.
UNHCR is in emergency response mode. The immediate and primary concern is freezing temperatures. It has mobilized goods to distribute to those in need and is working to get more blankets, thermal blankets, shelters, tents, food and other basic items.
With more than 1,300 personnel and volunteers, the IHH delivers water, food and emergency supplies to earthquake survivors.
The IRFC is seeking around $86 million to support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s response. Its efforts will aid 250,000 to 300,000 people affected by the devastating earthquake. Your donations can help vulnerable groups such as separated families, female-headed households, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. The IRFC is also raising around $129 million to support the Turkish Red Crescent’s response. Your donation can help around 300,000 people in 10 cities affected by the destruction of their homes.
The White Helmets volunteers are on the ground risking their lives, searching for survivors of the quake, and pulling the deceased from collapsed buildings. Your support would help transport survivors and rescuers to hospitals in frigid weather conditions. As time runs out due to depleted hospital systems, donating to The White Helmets would supply essential equipment to all of their respondents.
Project HOPE’s Emergency Response Team was on the ground in Gaziantep within 12 hours of the initial earthquake. In the first 24 hours, responders deployed a search and rescue to assist survivors out of the rubble and directed them to medical services. An ongoing operation, the team has since partnered with international and local relief organizations to provide medical and psychosocial support in affected areas. The Emergency Response Team is preparing to send over three tons of essential medicines and medical devices. More help is needed to ship emergency health kits, wound-care supplies, and lifesaving medicines to the injured and the vulnerable. You can help the local population meet their immediate needs with a donation.
Three days after the earthquake, Americares delivered lifesaving medicines, surgical supplies, and wound care products to Southern Turkey and Northwest Syria. The foundation’s Emergency Response Partners sent responders into the field to listen and coordinate with health sector partners, local health centers, and support systems. Your donation will contribute to emergency funding for hospital generators and critical care units. Donors can choose to donate $5 or more one time or monthly to continue their support.
Direct Relief connects with government and local agencies to provide material assistance. Nine tons of medical supplies including antibiotics, hypertension and diabetes medication, as well as field medic packs, wound care items, and protective gear have been sent to Turkey and Syria. Direct Relief plans to send 15 more tons of requested items. In addition to the $200,000 in emergency grants, $3 million has been authorized to support earthquake relief efforts. One hundred percent of donations will be designated for emergency response programs in the area.
OpUSA has now identified local partners to provide emergency cash grants. The organization is sending safety equipment, medication, first aid supplies, and relief materials for deployment to impacted areas. Donations will help OpUSA to acquire supplies where they’re needed most to help the vulnerable and those affected promptly. OpUSA is coordinating with community-based groups to provide survivors with health and hygiene supplies, food, clean drinking water, and support for struggling families.
All Hands and Hearts has its DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team) on the ground in Turkey. Currently, there are six team members coordinating logistics and the preparation of emergency supplies. You can follow its site for daily updates on the relief efforts.