Responding to the February earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria

Aug 10, 2023

Responding to the February earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria: Blankets, bakeries, and shower blocks.

In February 2023, two earthquakes struck near the border between Türkiye and Syria. These earthquakes killed more than 59,000 people and left an estimated 1.5 million people homeless.

AID responded by raising funds for a relief and reconstruction program run by an ecumenical network: ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance. So far, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, ABM AID has sent AUD$ 30,000 to ACT Alliance for the response.

Some of the reponses, such as Swiss Church Aid’s construction of bakeries that provide subsidised bread to people affected by the earthquakes, are innovative. Others, such as Hungarian Interchurch Aid’s construction of ablution blocks serve people living in camps after being displaced from their homes. More than 1.5 million people are still living in such camps following the earthquake.

Here is an update on some of the work done in Turkey and Syria by ACT Alliance members.

  • MECC (The Middle East Council of Churches) distributed 500 blankets in rural Homs to 137 displaced families. MECC also distributed 745 food packages and 745 hygiene kits to displaced families in Latakia. Homs and Latakia are both in northern Syria.
  • HEKS/EPER (Swiss Church Aid) has completed construction of four bakeries, which were estimated to be providing subsidized bread for more than 405,000 people in Baniyas (Tartous), Damsarkho (Lattakia) Azar (Hama) and Kafr Hamra (Aleppo). A further eleven bakeries are currently under construction (three of these – in Ash-Shahba’a, Dayr Hafir and Tartous – are likely to already be operational by the time you read this update). HEKS/EPER, in partnership with the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE), also provided food and non-food items and primary healthcare services to displaced people in Aleppo.
  • FCA (Finn Church Aid) provided 7,000 Individuals in Aleppo with winterization and hygiene kits. FCA has started distributing gas stoves and kitchen sets and setting up water supply and sanitation facilities in temporary camps in Aleppo.
  • HIA (Hungarian Interchurch Aid) in Turkey has begun setting up toilet and shower blocks in a camp in Iskenderun, directly supporting 1000 families affected by the earthquake.
  • Christian Aid provided two rounds of multipurpose cash vouchers to 1,000 displaced families in Idlib, Syria.

AID thanks our supporters for assisting with ACT Alliance’s ongoing response to the February earthquakes.