Foreign nations and non-governmental organizations have promised assistance and started mobilizing supplies and rescue teams to help authorities in Turkey and Syria cope with the thousands of people injured and displaced by the massive earthquakes that struck on Monday.
The United Nations’ refugee and children’s agencies and its World Food Program were among the agencies rushing to respond to the disaster.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it could launch a new earthquake appeal, but noted that it was still in the early stages of determining what and how much help was required in the quake zone. The agency has long-standing appeals already out to support its work with refugees in both Turkey and Syria, and those appeals remain significantly under-funded.
You can click here to support UNHCR’s work.
UNHCR was already seeking $348 million to help refugees in Turkey alone, but says so far, international donors have pledged only 11% of that figure. In Syria, the agency’s appeal is for $465 million, and only 7% of that funding has been promised.
The U.N.’s World Food Program has also worked for years to help refugees and others displaced by conflict in the earthquake zone, and it said resources were already being mobilized for quake survivors in Syria. You can support WFP’s work by clicking here.
The U.N.’s children’s agency, UNICEF, also has staff on the ground in Turkey and Syria helping people after the earthquakes. You can support that agency’s work here.
The Syrian American Medical Society, a charity based in the U.S., said it was also helping earthquake victims on the ground inside war-torn Syria.
“Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients filling the hallways,” the organization said in an appeal for donations. “There is an immediate need for trauma supplies and a comprehensive emergency response to save lives and treat the injured.”
“Across our operational facilities, we’ve been receiving victims of the quake as they come into our hospitals while simultaneously working to guarantee the wellbeing of our over 1,700 staff in Syria, and 90 at the epicenter near Gaziantep, Turkey,” said SAMS’ President Dr. Amjad Rass.
With winter conditions making rescue and relief efforts all the more difficult and urgent across the earthquake zone, aid agencies stressed the importance of a unified international response.