Organizations from all over the world are joining forces to help.
A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook millions of people in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel early on Monday morning. It has already claimed at least 5,000 lives and injured thousands more in Turkey and Syria, and the death toll is expected to climb.
Turkey has sent a formal request for assistance to NATO and its allies. Though survivors are still being pulled from the rubble, aid agencies are especially worried about people in war-ravaged Syria, where more than four million people already relied on humanitarian aid.
Dr. Bachir Tajaldin, Turkey’s country director at the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), described the complications of sending aid to Syria to CNN.
“The situation in Turkey is coordinated through a very well-developed government. They have infrastructure, they have rescue teams,” Tajaldin said.
“In northern Syria, most of the services are provided by NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and through humanitarian aid. There is no central government to take care of the multi-sectoral response.”
The devastating quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in a century, struck about 20 miles from Gaziantep, a major Turkish city just after 3 am local time.
“The force felt like somebody trying to knock me over, I could feel the violent reverberations in my chest. I fell to the ground. The shaking kept going. It was minutes before it finally stopped,” Eyad Kourdi wrote for CNN.
Organizations in Turkey, Syria, and across the world are working to send aid and offer support to the communities affected. We’ve rounded up some places you can donate to, below.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is mobilizing aid to Syria, focusing on vital services and water stations, and helping unaccompanied children to find their families. You can donate here to help.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has announced that it is “launching immediate cash assistance” from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to support relief efforts in Turkey and Syria.
Syrian American Medical Society
This group is working on the front lines of the disaster, treating victims as powerful tremors continue to affect the areas in question. Your donations will help them to purchase trauma supplies and provide emergency aid to their patients.
Turkish Red Crescent
Teams from Red Crescent organizations in both Turkey and Syria have been helping with recovery and aid efforts since Monday. Both organizations belong to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, a global network of disaster relief agencies. Turkish Red Crescent posted a request for cash donations on its Twitter feed — see details below.
Syrian Red Crescent
The Syrian Red Crescent, which helps to evacuate and search for victims, doesn’t have a donation page set up yet, but if you’re interested in joining the organization, there’s more information here.
International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation
This group, which is based near the quake’s epicenter, is working to dispatch teams to the communities that have been affected.
Their news release has asked for donations of:
- Tens of thousands tents and heaters for the tents
- Tens of thousands blankets
- Thermal clothes
- Ready-to-eat meals for at least 5,000 people
- First aid kits
If you think you can help, reach out to regional program coordinator Alper Mavi at +90 538 5159806 or Alper.email@example.com, or the group’s vice president, Muzaffer Baca, at +90 532 2344229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The White Helmets
The White Helmets is a nonprofit consisting entirely of volunteers that’s delivered care to Covid-19 patients and civilians victims of war. It is currently undergoing massive search and rescue operations in the affected areas of Syria. You can donate here.
Global Giving, which connects emergency aid nonprofits with donors launched a disaster relief fund to support recovery efforts in Turkey and Syria.
Save The Children
Save the Children is working in northwest Syria and Turkey to work out the kinds of aid that are needed the most. They’re also planning to provide communities with emergency kits to keep them as safe as possible amid the harsh winter weather. You can donate to their emergency fund, here.
This organization of veterans from all over the U.S. already has medical and disaster volunteers on the ground in Turkey to assess the need for private and public assistance for victims’ relief and recovery, and you can pitch in with their efforts by donating here.