How to help those affected by the Türkiye & Syria earthquakes
Two powerful earthquakes struck in southern Türkiye, near the Syrian border, taking the lives of more than 42,000 people, with many more injured and missing. Countries across the region were affected, including thousands of refugees, internally displaced people and the communities that have been generously hosting them for many years.
How to help refugees impacted by the Türkiye and Syria earthquakes
On 6th February 2023, two devastating earthquakes struck south-eastern Türkiye, near the Syrian border. The initial 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn, devastating entire sections of major cities. With its epicentre near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, tremors were felt in many neighbouring countries.
Less than 12 hours later, a second powerful earthquake followed.
Homes and public infrastructure have been severely damaged, with many buildings having collapsed or at risk of collapse. Roads and telecommunication networks are also affected, hindering search and rescue efforts.
The region is home to millions of displaced people who fled the war in Syria and other conflicts, and Gaziantep is a major humanitarian hub for the region.
Families who had been forced to flee from Syria were already facing harsh winter conditions. Now, the freezing temperatures and winter storms, combined with severe aftershocks have made both road navigation and aid delivery difficult.
UNHCR teams are present in Syria and Türkiye, ready to respond where needed, and in support of government efforts. We have stocks prepositioned and are working to mobilise additional supplies.
Make a donation and send help now
UNHCR teams are present in Syria and Türkiye, ready to respond and help provide urgent relief to survivors wherever possible.
In Syria, we are already distributing emergency supplies together with our partners, including high-thermal blankets, mattresses and other life-saving items.
In Türkiye, together with our partners we are liaising with authorities and assessing the needs that we can address, if requested by government counterparts.
The earthquakes come in the midst of harsh winter weather which is also impacting those affected. The needs are immense. Please support now.
Learn more – Türkiye
Türkiye hosts the world’s largest refugee population for the eighth consecutive year, with just over 4 million refugees and asylum-seekers – including over 3.7 million Syrian refugees.
Visit the UNHCR website to find the latest Factsheet on the Türkiye operation.
Learn more – conflict in Syria
Although the epicentre of the earthquake was in neighbouring Turkey, nearby north-west Syria has also been significantly impacted. This series of catastrophic earthquakes and aftershocks are the latest tragedies to strike a region that has been devastated by conflict for 12 years.
UNHCR has been assisting millions of internally displaced people from Syria, many of whom live in extreme poverty. This earthquake has reportedly damaged roads, making it difficult to deliver aid. Despite the challenges, UNHCR is committed to staying and delivering wherever possible to help those whose lives have been destroyed by the earthquake.
To find out more about the situation in Syria, please visit our website here.
Fundraise for displaced families in the region
Fundraising for those affected by the devastating earthquakes is a great way to help raise money. There are lots of ways to get involved – from taking on a sporting challenge to organising an event at work, home or school, or simply asking for donations instead of birthday or wedding gifts. For more information, please visit our fundraising page.
Once you’ve decided how you’ll fundraise for those impacted by the Türkiye and Syria earthquakes, you can set up your online fundraising page on JustGiving – it takes just 5 minutes!
Learn more about the Türkiye & Syria earthquakes
UNHCR responds to deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria
Teams from the UN Refugee Agency are on the ground to provide life-saving assistance to families affected by the disaster.