Editor's note: The situation in Turkey/Syria is actively evolving, as are the needs of citizens in the country. We will be keeping this list up to date with the evolving ways Global Citizens can help in the coming days and weeks.
Another destructive earthquake has hit southern Turkey and northern Syria, claiming at least four lives and injuring at least 294 people — just weeks after two earthquakes ravaged the same region back-to-back. The most recent earthquake, that measured at 6.4 on the Richter scale, rocked the region on Monday Feb. 20, destroying buildings already damaged in the previous quakes.
“We felt it much stronger [than the Feb. 6 earthquake]... There is no electricity... People are screaming for their lives,” the mayor of the Defne district near Antakya, Ibrahim Guzel, told broadcaster NTV.
At least 47,000 people have been reported dead and thousands more left injured from the previous powerful earthquakes that struck in the early hours of Monday Feb. 6, but the UN says the death toll is likely to exceed 70,000 from those quakes alone.
The two previous quakes, with 7.8 and 7.7 magnitudes on the Richter scale, hit both sides of the border within a 12-hour period, sending thousands of buildings, hospitals, and schools crumbling as strong aftershocks continued to pummel the area.
After an initial desperate rush to to find survivors buried beneath the rubble, a search for lives became a search to honor the dead. Despite a few astonishing stories of people being pulled alive from the debris a week after the quake hit, the focus shifted to caring for survivors. The latest earthquake comes just as rescue operations responding to the two previous quakes were starting to wind down.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT— Reuters (@Reuters) February 6, 2023
Rescue workers saved an injured child from the rubble of collapsed buildings after a major earthquake hit Syria, killing dozens and injuring hundreds https://t.co/d3s6tUGIrMpic.twitter.com/iky9r0smB7
"There was screaming everywhere," one 30-year-old man told Reuters, in the immediate aftermath of the previous earthquakes. "I started pulling rocks away with my hands. We pulled out the injured with friends, but the screaming didn't stop.”
Health director Ziad Hage Taha said wounded people were "arriving in waves" following the disaster. Strained health facilities and hospitals were quickly filled with the wounded while others had to be evacuated, including a maternity hospital, according to the SAMS medical organization.
The true scale of the damage is still becoming clear but one thing is certain, the two countries need all the help they can get to recover.
We've compiled a list of international and local NGOs who are supporting those on the ground with emergency aid and noted a few non-monetary ways you can take action to help too.
Donate Money to Global Relief Agencies
1. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
MSF is an international, independent organization that provides medical assistance to people affected by disasters such as the Syria-Turkey earthquake.
On the ground, they are treating patients in their supported hospitals, and their teams have donated emergency medical kits to other facilities in the region. Find out more and donate now.
2. Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
SAMS is a global medical relief organization that works on the front lines of crisis relief to save lives. They are providing urgent medical care to the injured at Bab Al Hawa hospital among others. Donate now.
3. Union of Medical Relief and Care Organizations (UOSSM)
The UOSSM, which provides emergency medical relief and health care services to Syrian people, made an urgent appeal for assistance on Monday morning.
“The news we are seeing is terrifying and heartbreaking,” said Dr. Khaula Sawah, the president of UOSSM in the US, in a statement. “We know building infrastructures in Syria have already been compromised from years of bombing campaigns. We need urgent aid immediately so we can help save the lives of those injured in this massive earthquake. Our staff is working tirelessly but are overwhelmed with the numbers of casualties. We need urgent support immediately. Countless lives are at stake.”
4. Save the Children
In North West Syria, Save the Children is working closely with partner organizations to assess the scale of the damage to provide support that children desperately need as the situation becomes clearer.
In Turkey, they are working to assess needs and have established a response team which will be supporting the national emergency response across the region, in close coordination with the government, and key stakeholders. Save the Children's teams on the ground are supporting affected communities with winterization and emergency kits, including blankets, and winter clothing. They are asking supporters to donate to their Children’s Emergency fund.
Save the Children #Türkiye team stands in support of the children, their families and our team members affected by the #earthquake in Southeast Türkiye, surrounding regions and countries. We are coordinating and preparing response efforts a pic.twitter.com/Pk2AAho6B5— Save the Children Türkiye (@SaveChildrenTR) February 6, 2023
5. CARE International
Social justice organization CARE is responding by delivering much-needed humanitarian aid, ranging from clothing to tents, mattresses, blankets, food, and non-food items to partners on the ground, whether in Türkiye or Northwest Syria. Donate now.
6. Project HOPE
Project HOPE — the global health and humanitarian aid organization — has deployed emergency response teams in response to the earthquakes.
"The earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria this morning have already claimed thousands of lives and we anticipate a very arduous and long road to recovery ahead, including search and rescue efforts, health system reconstruction, and mass displacement,” said Rabih Torbay, Project HOPE’s President and CEO. “As temperatures hover near freezing and airport closures and snowstorms delay access, Project HOPE has deployed an emergency response effort and is working with local and international partners to respond to the immediate needs.”
UNICEF has been working around the clock to provide life-saving assistance to those affected by the earthquakes.
The initial focus is on water (assessing the impact on main water stations and interruption or damages in services, and getting water to those who have been displaced), child protection (assessing separated and unaccompanied children), nutrition, and education (assessing the damages in schools and whether schools are being used as shelter). Donate now.
8. International Medical Corps
International Medical Corps has deployed mobile medical teams in Syria to provide emergency medical care to people in the region affected by the quake. Support their work now.
Oxfam KEDV, the Oxfam affiliate in Turkey, has partnerships with around 80 women’s cooperatives in 10 Turkish provinces most affected by the quake and is currently assessing response plans with them given the scale of devastation. Make a contribution.
10. Humanity & Inclusion
Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization, Humanity & Inclusion, is working on an inclusive emergency response, with a particular focus on people with injuries and disabilities.
Their Head of Mission for Syria, Myriam Abord-Hugon, says: "We expect a huge need for rehabilitation. There are thousands of injured people, and many of these injuries may worsen or turn into permanent disabilities if they do not receive appropriate rehabilitation services."
11. International Organization for Migration
The IOM is the principal UN agency working in the field of migration. Their teams are coordinating with governments and partners to respond to the needs of those affected, and ready to support with lifesaving resources.
They told Global Citizen: "Freezing weather, snowstorms, power outages, water supply service interruption, and significant public infrastructure damage threaten people and reduce access to essential services. We need your help to provide urgent relief items, including shelter, winter clothing, mobile heaters, and blankets to those in need.”
12. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
UNFPA told Global Citizen that the funding requirements for their earthquake response across Turkey and Syria are $44 million. Help them provide life-saving services to women and girls impacted by the earthquakes.
Donate to Turkish and Syrian Humanitarian Organizations
The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation is a Turkish NGO that provides humanitarian relief in areas of war, earthquake, hunger, and conflict. They are preparing emergency food bundles for those affected. Donate now.
In Bab al-Hawa, we are preparing emergency foodstuffs for earthquake victims in Syria. pic.twitter.com/FG3YqrhjDi— Humanitarian Relief (@IHHen) February 6, 2023
14. The White Helmets
The White Helmets is a grassroots team of volunteers across Syria who are supporting the urgent response. Give what you can to support their life-saving work.
NuDay is a nonprofit working to secure dignified and empowered aid for women and children affected by humanitarian crises worldwide. Their team is on the ground, responding with emergency aid. Donate now via GlobalGiving (one of Global Citizen's partners) to help them reach vulnerable women and children with life-saving support.
Ahbap is a Turkish NGO that aims to provide all kinds of aid to those in need. This is their donations page.
AKUT Search and Rescue Association is a Turkish NGO for disaster search and rescue relief. It was established in 1995 as a grassroots organization by seven leading outdoor athletes of Turkey. They are on the ground helping to rescue people from the rubble. Donate now.
18. Give Blood
Alarmingly, blood reserves in Turkey had already fallen below the minimum level of 50,000 to only 35,000 units in January 2023. If you’re based in Turkey, consider giving blood via the Turkish Red Crescent. Find a donation center near you.
19. Let People Know Where to Find Safety
A map has been created and is being constantly updated with the institutions and businesses that have opened their doors to citizens who have had to leave their homes after the earthquake. Share the map.
20. Raise Awareness
If you can’t donate at this time but want to help, consider sharing this article with friends, family, or on your social media accounts — it could well end up in front of someone who is in a position to support the relief effort financially.