Turkey and Syria Earthquake Emergency Response



Last Update:2023/05/22

As catastrophic earthquake leaves Turkey and Syria shaken, displaced families experience yet another ordeal

On 6 February 2023, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Turkey (officially the Republic of Türkiye), near the Syrian border. A second quake, which recorded a magnitude of 7.5, struck again just 9 hours later. Over 50,000 people have lost their lives and tens of thousands more are injured and made homeless. It is estimated that close to 18 million people are affected by the quakes. Our colleagues who experienced the earthquake themselves have told us that families are running onto the streets in the snow and are terrified.

Two of our colleagues, who have been affected by the earthquake themselves, shared with us what the earthquake was like for them and how they felt about it.

"The earthquake went for three minutes but felt like a lifetime. I live on the second floor so I had to evacuate my children and mother who is 80 years old. But the entire building was shaking I couldn’t keep my foot on the ground."

"We are living in a state of panic, our families and people around us. At the same time, we are heartbroken knowing people’s situation especially those are who internally displaced during cold, rain and hunger. All my feelings are mixed up."

World Vision’s initial assessments have also shown that, in Northwest Syria:

  • 94% of respondents’ shelter was damaged; of those, the shelters of 51% were destroyed
  • 93% need warm clothes and other winterisation supplies
  • 53% of respondents need first aid kits and other wound care supplies

  • More than just a deadly catastrophe

    Turkey is the largest host country of Syrian refugees in the world, and millions of them live near the epicentre of this earthquake. Having been forced to leave their homes due to a war that has been going on since 2011, these people are now facing yet even more misery and pain, finding themselves at the centre of the world’s attention again for all the wrong reasons.

    In Northwest Syria, those impacted by the earthquake have also lived through the ordeal of the decade-long war and their mental health status has long been very concerning. In the earthquake, people already living in extreme poverty have lost what little they had and the toll on their overall wellbeing is unimaginable. Infrastructure that was already limited is now overwhelmed after the earthquake, with injured patients having to line up outside emergency rooms. At least 20 medical facilities have been partially or completely damaged. Many water and sanitation facilities have also been damaged, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks such as cholera.

    The strong earthquake has caused multiple buildings to collapse.

    With their homes now totally destroyed, many survivors have lost everything.

    Those who have lost everything in the earthquake could only use whatever they can find to keep warm in the freezing cold.

    World Vision’s response

    For years, World Vision has been working in the areas affected by this earthquake, providing help for Syrian children and families displaced by the war. Our staff, together with our local partners, began assessing the needs and responding in the two countries within hours of the first quake. Our priority is to provide help across various sectors, such as water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), health, education and psychosocial support, and to help them gradually rebuild their lives. We expect to reach more than 600,000 people by September 2023, ultimately reaching over one million people throughout the total life of the response.

    As of 9 May 2023, we have provided support to 455,594 people, including:

  • Providing 11,463 people with food
  • Providing 301,268 people with access to clean water
  • Providing 33,083 people with heaters and fuel so they can keep warm and access electricity
  • Distributing cash support to 14,452 people so they can buy food and basics for their families
  • Providing 32,737 people with basics they need to survive like hygiene kits, blankets, etc.
  • Supporting health centres in Syria to provide medical services to 54,178 people
  • Providing 400 people with psychosocial support

  • Click here for the latest situation report.

    As the earthquake occurred during winter, World Vision and its local partners provided fuel for hospitals and rescue teams to keep health services and rescue operations running.

    World Vision is supplying heaters and fuel at temporary shelters to help people keep warm and have access to electricity.

    World Vision supports health centres in Syria to address the medical needs of people.

    World Vision is providing people with clean water and hygiene kits to protect them from diseases.

    World Vision provides blankets and bedding to help people who have lost everything to keep warm and rest.

    World Vision is providing cash assistance for people to purchase supplies according to their own needs.

    Please give now to help families who are suffering in this difficult time.

    1. Hong Kong
      Please prepare a crossed cheque payable to “World Vision Hong Kong” together with your personal details and mail it to us at World Vision Hong Kong, Freepost No. 69. Please mark “Turkey and Syria Earthquake Emergency Response” on the envelope.

      Please prepare a crossed cheque payable to “World Vision of Macau Association” together with your personal details and mail it to us at World Vision of Macau Association, P.O. Box 530, Macau. Please mark “Turkey and Syria Earthquake Emergency Response” on the envelope.

    2. Bank Account (Hong Kong):
      Bank of China: 012-363-1-017493-6

      Bank Account (Macau):
      Bank of China (HKD): 00181611200056596
      Bank of China (MOP): 00181601200043467

      You may also use online bank transfer or scan the Faster Payment System (FPS) QR code (image below) with any supporting mobile banking app to donate. If you need a donation receipt, please mail us the bank-in slip or send the screen capture of the confirmation page (recipient: World Vision Hong Kong) to [email protected], together with your name, phone number and postal address.

      Simply Easy Learning

    3. Remarks: Unused donations from this appeal will be allocated for other World Vision relief work.