Following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake across Turkey and Syria, over 37,000 people have died so far. Other than UK government aid, what can we do to help?
On 6 February 2023, homes and areas of towns and cities across Turkey and Syria were been turned to rubble, as major earthquakes hit south-east Turkey and the north-west region of Syria.
The WHO has described these earthquakes as the worst natural disaster in a century within the region.
Risk modelling company Verisk predicts that the Damages from the earthquakes in Turkey alone will probably exceed $20 billion.
Financial donations to Turkey and Syria
A number of charities providing humanitarian relief in Turkey and Syria are available for personal donations to those affected.
Lots of organisations globally have launched appeals, including:
– Disasters Emergency Committee
– British RedCross
– Save the Children
Charities with experience in responding to disasters are best placed to reach victims on the ground.
Donate money, rather than essential supplies
Donating cash through trusted charities and aid organisations, rather than donating goods, can be better for countries after natural disasters.
Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it is needed and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what is most needed.
This can be because the donation of unsolicited goods can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent life-saving assistance from getting through.
If you wish to donate goods, check with charities and community groups.
What has the UK government done to help?
The UK government will match, pound-for-pound, £5 million of public donations to this appeal.
The UK government will match £5 million of public donations
Other initiatives to help Turkey and Syria so far include:
• Sending a team of 77 search and rescue experts with specialist equipment, and 4 rescue dogs to Turkey
• Deploying a British team of emergency medics with surgical capability and equipment
• Donating thousands of tents and blankets to help people keep sheltered and warm in the freezing condition
• £3.8 million to the White Helmets to aid their major search and rescue operation in north-west Syria
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The UK stands ready to assist our close allies and friends during this terrible time. We will keep options open for further assistance as requested. The Hercules C130 will be used to move casualties within Turkey.”
Development Minister Andrew Mitchell added: “The UK has moved quickly to get vital emergency supplies to survivors of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. We’re sending thousands of thermal blankets to Turkey to help those in the hardest-hit areas keep warm in the sub-zero temperatures. This is part of a wider package of UK support to the people of Turkey and Syria.”
Turkey is really in a bad position right now, it’s time we got moving and helped them