Geneva/Ankara/Damascus, 5 February 2024: Marking one year since the catastrophic earthquakes that devastated Türkiye and Syria, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today calls for renewed solidarity to meet pressing humanitarian and recovery needs, highlighting a critical funding shortfall in its ongoing humanitarian response.
Despite reaching 14 million earthquake-affected people (10.5 million in Türkiye and 3.5 million in Syria) through the tireless efforts of 80,000 volunteers, the IFRC Emergency Appeals still face alarming funding gaps: 65% for Türkiye and 43% for Syria. One year on, the needs of those affected by one of the century's deadliest natural disasters remain persistent. The earthquakes, which claimed over 55,000 lives, have had devastating impacts on people’s lives.
One year on, Türkiye is on the slow road to recovery, but communities in Syria are struggling to rebuild their lives.
Jessie Thomson, Head of IFRC Delegation in Türkiye, said:
“Now is not the time to scale down. In fact, we need to redouble our efforts. Despite important steps forward, the long road to recovery remains. The affected people now require support in rebuilding their businesses, recovering their lost livelihoods, and beginning the slow journey back to normalcy.”
In Türkiye, the Turkish Red Crescent has been instrumental in providing daily necessities, including over 426 million hot meals and free medical services via mobile health clinics. Furthermore, through a cash relief program supported by the IFRC network and international partners, over 460,000 families have received cash to meet their basic needs. Notably, this program has also extended support to small businesses and farmers, while over 207,000 people have received psychosocial support.
In Syria, many affected people were already living in a dire situation, due to over 13 years of instability and conflict. Most cities are still in ruins and basic infrastructure is severely damaged.
Mads Brinch Hansen, Head of IFRC Delegation in Syria, said:
“Our collective efforts with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been pivotal in reaching over 3.5 million people. Yet, the scale of needs remains immense in Syria, with millions still grappling with extreme poverty and the daunting task of rebuilding their lives amidst ongoing conflict and destruction.”
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent continues to be a critical lifeline, providing around 23 million humanitarian services and volunteers continue to provide people with food, water, basic relief items, health care, and psychosocial support.
About the IFRC’s Appeal:
The IFRC launched two Emergency Appeals, one for Türkiye and one for Syria, amounting to CHF 500 million; both are still significantly underfunded (funding gap of 65 per cent in Türkiye and 43 per cent in Syria). Further support and funding are urgently needed to make a significant impact on the lives of those affected and empower people to rebuild their lives and contribute to their local economies in both countries.
For more information, audio visual material or to coordinate an interview, please contact: [email protected]
Miriam Atallah, +90 53 091 70224
Mey Al Sayegh: +961 761 74468
Tommaso Della Longa +41 79 708 4367
Mrinalini Santhanam +41 76 381 5006
Andrew Thomas +41 76 367 6587
Carina Wint +47 413 91 873
B-roll footage and images of volunteers responding are available at the IFRC newsroom.'