Help for Earthquake Victims
Local and international aid groups are at work in Turkey and Syria's rubble
First Hope Association is a local NGO that’s long partnered with U.S. groups World Relief and others to care for Syrian refugees in Turkey. I met director Demokan Kileci in 2018 while his team was building a school in Gaziantep. Within hours of the initial Feb. 6 quake, his teams were on the road and have so far set up mobile kitchens, mobile bathroom trailers, and delivered two trucks of supplies. They are also providing equipment for search and rescue in some of the same refugee communities I visited in Gaziantep. “All of our staff and volunteers are working in difficult conditions. They sleep in their vehicles or on the ground in sleeping bags,” Kileci reports.
Kurtuluş Churches in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, have branches in many quake-affected cities. They are sending food trucks and other supplies.
TR64 0001 0007 9892 2312 7550 06 (TL)
TR10 0001 0007 9892 2312 7550 08 (USD)
TR80 0001 0007 9892 2312 7550 09 (EURO)
Account Holder: Kurtuluş Kiliseler Derneği
Bic/Swift Kodu: TCZBTR2AXXX
Medair is a rare international aid group with a team on the ground in Aleppo, Syria, distributing winter items, shelter kits, and other supplies. The city, 70 miles from the epicenter in Turkey, endured a brutal siege during Syria’s civil war, and has little infrastructure and no heating fuel for quake victims. A Maronite Christian monastery has taken in more than 800 people, particularly women, children and the elderly, crammed into every room.
Send Relief, experienced with disaster relief in Turkey, quickly sent trucks with food, blankets, and clothing, and will headquarter further relief near the epicenter.
Partners Relief and Development has worked for years among war victims in Syria, and has local partners in place to provide critical medical assistance and needed supplies.
Samaritan’s Purse has a team on the ground in critical areas, and on Feb. 9 dispatched a 52-bed emergency field hospital to Antakya, one of the worst-hit cities in Turkey.
World Relief is partnering with local churches in Turkey and Syria to provide emergency support, medical assistance, and safe shelter.
World Vision has teams in Syria and Turkey, distributing fuel and heat to shelters, along with other supplies. The aid organization also will focus on protecting vulnerable children in northwest Syria, some separated from families by war and now natural disaster, said Syria crisis response director Johan Mooij (helpful FAQ page here).
Zaka Tel Aviv and United Hatzalah are experienced search-and-rescue medical corps dispatched within hours to aid in rescue and medical care.
Finally, MinistryWatch has advice and additional information on how to direct donations to the earthquake relief effort.
Gaziantep hosts an American Corner, a US State Department culture space, at the university. I know US citizens and our government are aiding with help and funds, but having a USG-sponsored and taxpayer-funded entity in the middle of the earthquake's hardest hit area shows indeed we are all in this together.