Turkey-Syria Earthquake appeal – 10-mile challenge

Some of our team on the South Coast, have taken part in a ten-mile ‘South Downs’ walking challenge – to raise funds for the Turkey-Syria earthquake appeal.  The series of devastating earthquakes have affected over 18 million people, many of whom are in urgent need of shelter, food and medical aid.

What happened in the Turkey-Syria Earthquake?

On Feb. 6, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred in southern Turkey near the northern border of Syria. This quake was followed approximately nine hours later by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake located around 59 miles to the southwest. At least 5,700 aftershocks have occurred. A further 6.4 magnitude earthquake killed three people and injured 213 in southern Turkey on Feb. 20.

The situation in Turkey:

The Turkish government is leading the response there through coordination by AFAD and with the Turkish Red Crescent. State authorities declared a level-4 emergency leading to a call for international assistance and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 of the country’s provinces. Governments around the world were quick to respond to requests for international assistance, deploying rescue teams and offering aid.

The situation in Syria:

Syria’s current complex humanitarian emergency is among the largest humanitarian crises in the world and the earthquake has only exacerbated the situation. One obstacle in providing aid quickly in Syria is that the government does not control all the northwest, the area hardest hit by the earthquake. Coordinated assistance by the UN to Syria’s northwest has begun arriving across the border from Turkey, while Damascus is where assistance is coordinated within the rest of government-controlled Syria. So far, the UN had sent nearly 200 trucks loaded with aid through the Bab Al-Hawa and Bab Al-Salam border crossings. Additional distributions on the ground are ongoing by local partners.

Critical needs:

  • Finance – As with most disasters and emergencies, cash donations are recommended as they allow for on-the-ground agencies to direct funds to the most significant area of need, support economic recovery and quickly re-establish access to basic needs.
  • Medical Supplies –  teams in northwest Syria are in need of critical medical supplies, drawing on emergency stock while waiting for international supply, which has been hampered by the political tensions surrounding this landlocked region.
  • Employment – Support for livelihoods includes providing short-term employment for debris clearance and small-scale rehabilitation supporting the immediate livelihood needs of the affected population.
  • Psychological support – The earthquake has resulted in new displacements, loss of livelihood, extreme poverty, and a damaged social support structure. Providing support for psychosocial and mental health support is critical.
  • Protection – After a disaster, protecting vulnerable individuals and ensuring access to their basic rights are immediate priorities. Protecting women and children from exploitation, abuse and harassment is necessary and safe spaces within the affected area can provide protection.
  • Shelter – In the short term, affected people will need access to safe, warm shelters. All emergency shelters should be winterized and built with disaster risk in mind. In the longer-term, housing reconstruction will be required. The sooner the transition from emergency shelter to permanent housing solutions occurs, the better for communities and the quicker their recovery.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)

The DEC brings together 15 leading aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. Their mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.  Despite the challenges of working in the affected region, The DEC are providing search and rescue, medical treatment for the injured, shelter for those who have lost their homes, heating in safe spaces, blankets, warm clothes, food and clean water. Their work in the Turkey-Syria Earthquake has been critical.

Please join us in donating towards this urgent appeal, which has raised over £100m so far: https://donation.dec.org.uk/turkey-syria-earthquake-appeal.

To view more of our charity work across Military, Conservation and local causes, please click here.

Turkey-Syria Earthquake

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