Ankara/Damascus, 3 August 2023: Six months after the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for urgent support to affected communities still reeling from the monumental impacts of the disaster.
Although recovery efforts are well underway, the earthquakes have had an immeasurable impact, leading to the loss of thousands of lives and affecting millions more.
“We have seen astounding resilience in communities, but people still find themselves stuck in a very difficult situation,” says Ruben Cano, IFRC Head of Delegation in Türkiye. “Many people in Türkiye – particularly those who lost their homes and income – are still struggling with their day-to-day needs, including paying for food, rent and other necessities. A ‘normal’ life is still far from reach.”
Many people are falling deeper into debt to help cover their needs while they recover and build back income sources. More than 50 percent of families supported by the IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent are taking on new debts after the earthquakes as the country battles inflation and a drastic increase in prices.
In Syria, the reality for many people is even more dire – the earthquake's impact, coupled with 12 years of conflict, has rendered recovery exceedingly challenging. The economic situation continues to push already vulnerable communities deeper into hardship and uncertainty.
“The rescue phase of the earthquake response may have concluded, but the emergency situation persists,” says Mads Brinch Hansen, IFRC Head of Delegation in Syria. “Immediate international support is needed right now, both to meet immediate humanitarian needs, as well as to build people’s resilience and rehabilitate vital infrastructure and community services, which are on the brink of collapse.”
The IFRC, together with the Turkish Red Crescent and Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has been at the very heart of this response since day one. Teams have been providing immediate relief to affected communities, including food, water, shelter, healthcare and mental health and psychosocial support. Financial support through cash and vouchers is helping many families recover as best they can, as is support for rebuilding businesses and opportunities for income.
The IFRC launched two Emergency Appeals, one for Türkiye and one for Syria, totaling CHF 500 million. There is still a funding gap of 74% in Türkiye and 56% in Syria. Further support and funding are urgently needed to make a significant impact on the lives of those affected and empower individuals to rebuild their lives and contribute to their local economies in both Syria and Türkiye in the long term.
Notes to the editor:
More about the operation in Türkiye: click here
The Turkish Red Crescent has been providing 416 million meals to affected communities and responders in the last six months while also ensuring people have clean water, essential hygiene items and health services. Teams have set up safe spaces offering mental health and psychosocial support to many children, parents, first responders and other individuals who need it. To help survivors buy the items they need as they recover, cash assistance has been given to more than 137,000 families in partnership with the IFRC and WFP. In partnership with the IFRC, the Turkish Red Crescent has reached over 590,000 people with cash and voucher assistance.
For the short-term, multipurpose cash assistance gives people the opportunity to buy what they need the most, but it will also be a vital tool to provide livelihood assistance to those who lost their jobs or their sources of income. IFRC and the Turkish Red Crescent are currently ramping up aid support for livelihood assistance to people with a focus on agriculture, animal husbandry and small businesses.
The IFRC Emergency Appeal is seeking CHF 400 million to support the Turkish Red Crescent response has already been funded up to CHF 105.5 million, thanks to some of our national societies’ support, the generosity of multiple governments, the European Union and the international community. The current funding gap is approximately 74 per cent.
More about the operation in Syria: click here
Communities affected by the earthquake in Syria are grappling with the daily struggle for survival, as access to necessities like food, water, shelter, and medical care is becoming increasingly scarce.
Since day one, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) staff and volunteers were the first on the ground to respond, and they have provided more than 12 million humanitarian services, including food, water, shelter, healthcare and mental health support to the affected population.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent continues to be the main humanitarian actor in Syria and is covering the impacts of the earthquake on a broad scale, including food, water, shelter, healthcare and mental health support, and items to meet people’s basic needs. It will continue to support communities over the years to come. So far, SARC provides 80% of the Syrian population with safe water through the treatment and maintenance of damaged water infrastructure and has a network of 229 health facilities, which represent a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
The IFRC Emergency Appeal seeking CHF 100 million to support the SARC response has already been funded up to CHF 44 million, with a current funding gap of approximately 56%.
For more information or to coordinate an interview, please contact: [email protected]
Global: Anna Tuson: +41 79 895 6924
Syria: Mey Al Sayegh: +96176174468
Türkiye: Sevil Erkus: +905366449122