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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Emma Loffhagen and Beril Naz Hassan

How to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

Organisations and government support teams across the globe are continuing their race against time to rescue those trapped under rubble and find food, clean water and shelter for the millions of survivors left in chilling weather conditions after two major earthquakes left parts of Turkey and Syria devastated.

The earthquakes, with magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5, were the most powerful earthquakes to strike the region in almost a century.

So far, they have left 41,000 people dead, thousand injured and millions of people without homes, medical supplies, food and warm clothes. They have also demolished numerous cities’ infrastructure, cutting off electricity, gas and water supplies, as well as phone and internet lines.

The United Nations is estimating that 4.7 million people in the rural areas of Turkey, or Türkiye as the government prefers, are struggling to get enough food.

Governments around the world are pledging assistance, deploying search teams and medical equipment, and offering aid, as families who have lost their homes endure near-freezing temperatures.

Here are some ways you can help.

Donate to a national or international organisation

Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)

DEC, the umbrella group of UK charities which coordinates collective appeals to provide emergency aid following disasters, has launched an earthquake appeal.

DEC charities and their partners have been working round the clock to provide urgent lifesaving assistance including hot meals, food kits, cooking equipment and clean water in both Turkey and Syria.

Madara Hettiarachchi, DEC’s director of programmes and accountability, explained: “As the days move on, we are now seeing the secondary impacts of the earthquake, which includes an escalating food crisis. DEC charities are working tirelessly to provide thousands of hot meals, food items and cooking equipment to people who have lost everything. Nutrition is fundamental – not just for the short-term – but it forms the building blocks for the rest of our lives. Your donations are helping right now, to get food to those who need it most.”

You can donate to the DEC here.

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross has launched an earthquake appeal and is appealing for donations to provide emergency aid and evacuation.

You can donate to the British Red Cross here.

Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief teams are responding to the disaster in Turkey and Syria. They are providing emergency food assistance, shelter and cash grants to enable those worst affected to meet their immediate needs, as well as health and medical supplies.

Mohammed Hamza, Islamic Relief’s head of office in Idlib, shared: “There is a major need to provide long term support to help with recovery, but in the short term, our food pack distributions are helping families get through from day to day.”

You can donate to Islamic Relief here.

Action Aid

ActionAid has launched an emergency appeal and is preparing to respond to support immediate needs for shelter, food, medical aid, warm clothing, heaters and cash to people who have lost their homes.

They have used the donations given so far to provide ready-to-eat meals and a community kitchen in Kahramanmaras for food preparation.

You can donate to Action Aid here.


Oxfam has launched an emergency appeal and has teams in Turkey and Syria assessing, with partner organisations, the fastest, most appropriate humanitarian efforts to help people in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.

You can donate to Oxfam here.


Unicef has said it is in Syria and prioritising water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition, and also focusing on helping unaccompanied children locate their families.

You can donate to Unicef here. 

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders teams have received many injured and dead people in the hospitals the charity supports in north-west Syria, and teams have been working since the early hours to respond to the influx.

You can donate to Doctors Without Borders here. 


Care, an organisation that works with impoverished communities, is accepting donations that will go towards food, shelter and hygiene kits, among other items.

You can donate to Care here. 

Raise awareness

If you can’t donate at this time but want to help, consider sharing reputable articles and information with friends and family or on your social media accounts. That way, you can share with people who are in a position to support the relief effort financially.

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