Recommendations for Emergency Response to Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

On February 6th, 2023, two powerful earthquakes struck southern Turkey near the Syrian border, with multiple aftershocks following thereafter. The earthquakes were the strongest to hit these areas in 100 years.

The death toll from the massive earthquakes has exceeded 20,000, with the number of casualties expected to rise as rescue teams comb through the rubble of collapsed buildings. Homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure have been destroyed, tens of thousands of people have been injured, and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless in the winter cold.

These earthquakes have had a devastating impact on a region already in crisis, creating a humanitarian disaster of extreme proportions. Donations are urgently needed to help with emergency aid like medical care, food, clean water, and warm shelter and clothing.

During emergency response and recovery efforts, monetary donations to well-mobilized nonprofits make an immediate difference. All recommendations are registered 501(c)(3) organizations that accept contributions from individuals, foundations, and donor-advised funds.

GlobalGiving: Donations to the Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief Fund support emergency food, warm shelter, clean water and medicine, and mental health support for survivors. Aid will be distributed to first responders and local nonprofits working in the region. GlobalGiving’s initial focus is on urgent needs and will later transition to economic relief efforts and long-term assistance for local nonprofits working on recovery.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS): SAMS’ Earthquake Relief Syria fund will use donations to provide emergency medical aid and trauma supplies in Syria and Turkey. SAMS supports over 36 medical facilities in the affected region of northwest Syria as well as a regional office in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the epicenter of the first quake. They are working to provide emergency care for the thousands of victims coming in as well as caring for their staff members in both Syria and Turkey.

Save the Children: Donations for the Children’s Emergency Fund provides children with food, shelter, and critical warm clothing and blankets in the freezing weather. They have teams in both Northwest Syria and Turkey that are coordinating with the government and key stakeholders.

CARE International: CARE’s initial response is focused on search and rescue, and meeting basic emergency needs for food, clean water, and shelter, hygiene kits, and cash assistance. CARE is collecting donations for the region through their Turkey Syria Earthquakes Fund. They are working with local and government partners to deliver supplies as well as mattresses, blankets, and clothing. CARE’s second phase of planned support in the region will build resilience to future disasters.

All Hands and Hearts: Utilizing a unique volunteer model to enable direct impact, the first wave of All Hands and Hearts Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) of volunteers arrived in Istanbul, Turkey just 24 hours after the earthquakes hit. DART is coordinating with the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority and the Ministry of Defense to figure out the best way to assist with relief efforts. Donations to the Türkiye Earthquake Relief fund support emergency activities like search and rescue, victim transportation, and expanding and winterizing shelters for displaced families.