Many people remain displaced in Türkiye and Ukraine

Nov 17, 2023

Displaced people in Ukraine and Türkiye face a long wait

With the terrible ongoing conflict in Gaza, it is easy to forget displaced people in many other parts of the world. In fact, in mid-2023, even before the Gaza conflict, the number of displaced people worldwide was estimated at over 100 million. This year, AID has supported people displaced by the February 2023 earthquake in Syria and Türkiye, and by war in Ukraine, Gaza, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here are the stories of Fatme in Türkiye and Irina in Ukraine.

Fatme lives in a tent in Adiyaman in southern Türkiye. She recalls the day the earthquake changed everyone’s lives: “That day, before dawn, my autistic son Gazi saved our lives. He woke up a couple of minutes before the earthquake hit and dragged us outside. Then it happened, and we saw how the second floor of the house just crashed into the first. It really is a miracle that we are all alive”.

Fatme wants to stay in Adiyaman. “We’ll stay in the tents for 10 more years if we have to. But it’s inhumane. Look, it’s really hard with Gazi, he can’t get used to this new environment. If we could at least continue life in a container, that would help a lot.”

AID, through our membership of the ecumenical network, ACT Alliance, and on-the-ground partners like Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA), supported the provision of relief supplies and sanitation facilities for Fatme and other earthquake survivors. HIA even plans to assist displaced people to rebuild their homes. But for now, Fatme has no choice but a tent.

Another AID program, also run through ACT Alliance and on-the-ground partners like HIA, assists people displaced by war in Ukraine. Irina, together with her two children, fled from war- ravaged eastern Ukraine to Transcarpathia in the far west of Ukraine (her husband stayed behind to fight in the war). Irina lives with 90 other refugees in dormitory-style accommodation where HIA provides food, hygiene products and household appliances. Both of Irina’s children are in primary school, however classes are online as primary schools have switched to distance learning due to the war.

Irina recently heard some good news. Her sister and parents, who stayed behind in eastern Ukraine, were still alive. Even their house was still intact. Irina wants to go back to eastern Ukraine but she knows it isn’t safe to do so yet. For now, Irina has no choice but a dormitory.

ABM and AID thank our supporters who gave generously to our Ukraine Conflict and Syria-Türkiye Earthquake appeals, and we thank ACT Alliance and on-the-ground partners for assisting displaced people like Fatme and Irina.