Turkiye-Syria Earthquake Emergency Relief

 March 21, 2023

A massive earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale hit the Turkiye-Syria border area, causing widespread destruction and loss of life. The devastating quake struck in the early 4:17 am of February 6 when people were sleeping.

Turkiye-Syria Earthquake affected map

Reports from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) indicate that the death toll from the catastrophe was around 48,000 people. Additionally, over 9.1 million individuals were directly affected, and another 5.2 million were forced to flee their homes and become internally displaced persons (IDPs). The earthquake resulted in a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

Affected City, Kahramanmaras, Turkiye (1)

The aftermath of the earthquake that rocked the Turkiye-Syria border region continues to be felt, with aftershocks, floods, and other hazards causing ongoing distress. Over 40 days have elapsed since the initial earthquake, and the situation for earthquake survivors has been steadily deteriorating.

Responding to the urgent humanitarian crisis resulting from the earthquake, Good Neighbors acted swiftly by sending an emergency relief team within 48 hours of the disaster.

Affected City, Kahramanmaras, Turkiye (2)

Upon arriving at the scene, the Good Neighbors Emergency Response Team (GN ER Team) conducted a field assessment to determine the immediate direction of emergency relief. The GN ER Team established a base camp in Gaziantep and devised an emergency relief plan that prioritized assisting the most heavily impacted regions. These efforts continued in northern Syria and the Turkish areas such as Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Adana, Adiyaman, Sanlıurfa, and Gaziantep.

"The recent disaster devastated the city, leaving the residents with chaos and destruction. Despite the challenges posed by limited resources, our team has been working tirelessly to meet the pressing needs of the survivors. With their expertise and dedication, local NGOs' support and collaboration have played a critical role in our relief efforts. Together, we have been able to provide essential assistance to those affected by this tragedy."

-Member of 2nd GN ER Team-

In the aftermath of a disaster in Turkiye, Disaster and Emergency Management Authority(AFAD) led the emergency relief efforts. Despite some collaborative efforts, such as state participation in rescue activities and the provision of tents, several critical needs, such as food and sanitation, still needed to be addressed. The situation remained challenging as the affected region continued to face significant difficulties, and further assistance was required to address the pressing needs of the impacted population. 

Food Items distribution in Kahramanmaras, Turkiye

Already grappling with the lingering effects of a prolonged civil war, Northern Syria was hit by a devastating earthquake, worsening an already dire situation. The lack of administrative power in the region has exacerbated the urgency for immediate support to address the pressing needs of the affected population.

To address these challenges, The GN ER team has opted to collaborate with local NGOs to create a synergistic effect by merging GN resources and international experience with the Local NGOs' infrastructure and expertise. The Team also planned to provide customized support for each country and time, recognizing each location's diverse needs and contexts.

Hygiene Items distribution in Kahramanmaras, Turkiye 

Food Items distribution in Sanliurfa,Turkiye

Through collaboration with ten local partners, GN ER Team has established an effective system to deliver aid to those in need. GN relief works have benefitted 68,269 individuals, with a total budget of $530,000(*Based on 15-Mar. updated). The efforts of the GN ER Team and our local partners have been instrumental in bringing much-needed relief to those affected by the earthquake.

During the initial phase of the earthquake response efforts, which lasted until mid-February, the primary focus was providing necessities. GN ER Team distributed 11,541 pcs food kits to 11,541 people(2,250 Households), Hygiene Kit to 1,500 people(300HHs). These spread critical resources to areas such as Adana and Kahramanmaras in Turkiye, where temporary housing facilities were already in place.

In addition, the team also supplied tents in areas in Syria where living conditions remained challenging due to the effects of the earthquake; thanks to our effort, 36,991 people (6,012HHs) supported shelters.

Shelter Item distribution in Syria

After mid-February, with General distribution, GN ER Team expanded its support efforts to include specialized services to provide crucial psychosocial support to those affected by the earthquake. Among these efforts, the organization established a child-friendly space (CFS) and conducted Psycho-Social Support(PSS).

By providing targeted support in this way, GN has demonstrated its commitment to providing aid tailored to each region's unique needs and phase of the relief efforts. Our ability to adapt and respond to the evolving needs of those affected by the disaster has been instrumental in mitigating the long-term impacts of the earthquake. In particular, by properly collaborating with local NGOs, GN's resources and experience and local NGOs’ on-site experience and infrastructure are synergistic and successful projects are underway.

 PSS Project operation with Local Partner in Syria

"After fleeing the war in Iraq, my family and I came to Turkey seeking refuge. However, hopes of starting a new life were dashed when a devastating earthquake destroyed everything we had achieved. Currently, we are in urgent need of food and a safe shelter. We express our sincere gratitude to Good Neighbors for their generous provision of food during this challenging time."

 -Earthquake Survivor Families Received Food Assistance from Good Neighbors-

In the 40 days since the disaster, there is growing recognition of the need to focus on rebuilding efforts in addition to emergency relief. Rehabilitation of homes, education of children, and provision of mental health support are among the top priorities to restore normalcy in the lives of survivors. GN has announced plans to allocate over $1 million for its earthquake emergency relief activities, which will involve distributing essential supplies and continuing the PSS program. The local partner network established over the past five weeks will be crucial in facilitating the relief efforts.

Urgent assistance is still required for the people of Syria, who continue to grapple with the aftermath of the disaster, and for the Turkish people, who face significant gaps despite the government's support.

Good Neighbors and our partners in over 40 countries stand with the affected communities and will work to make sure that immediate relief is made available.

All our response is possible thanks to your support. Please join us to save lives and keep the safety of children and the vulnerable.

            Donate Now