Skip to Content

Helping Syria and Türkiye 'build back better'

18 May 2023

Syria and Türkiye earthquake update 1

In February, the people of Syria and Türkiye were rocked after two large earthquakes unleashed devastation across the region. But, thanks to your generous and loving support, our partners Caritas Syria and Caritas Türkiye began delivering life-saving materials straight away, in the critical first 72 hours after the earthquake.  

How you helped 

By putting your faith into action and donating money to our emergency appeal, you helped our partners provide clean water, sanitation, medical supplies, cash grants and daily food packages to those directly affected by the earthquake. Our partners were also able to offer refuge in safe locations such as church facilities, ensuring many families had a dignified place to rest, sleep and plan their next steps.  

In addition, your support is allowing people’s mental welfare to be looked after in the aftermath of the disaster too. Free psychosocial sessions are being arranged with trained professionals, enabling people to talk to someone about their experiences, process what happened, and begin overcoming any stress-related problems. 

Across our response in both Syria and Türkiye, our partners are focusing on meeting the needs of those most vulnerable to the aftereffects of the earthquake, such as women, children, those with disabilities, and families living in the poorest, most unstable places.

Syria and Türkiye earthquake update 2

What next 

In the coming months and years, the cameras will sadly move onto the next crisis. But, because of your compassion, SCIAF will stay with the people of Syria and Türkiye for the long-term, helping them ‘build back better’.  

Projects will likely include repairing roads, schools and hospitals so that infrastructure can better cope with future earthquakes, and providing the skills and education people need to work themselves out of poverty.  

We can’t thank you enough for responding in love to our appeal and helping lift up the lives of our sisters and brothers in Syria and Türkiye during their darkest hours.

Syria and Türkiye earthquake update 3

Samar’s story 

Our partners, who are directly responding to the emergency in Türkiye, sent Samar’s story below. It showcases how your money helps people get back on their feet and rebuild their lives after emergencies strike.  

In February, the city of Şalinurfa was rocked by the earthquake. Then, in a horrifying turn of events, the city suffered yet another disaster as it was flooded by heavy rains. 

We were visiting Şalinurfa to attend a neighborhood meeting – to hear about what support was needed most. We met a group of Syrian refugees, one of whom was Samar, an 82-year-old widow. 

During the earthquake, she had lost everything she owned. She had no documents, and was now living in a makeshift tent made of nylon and cardboard. She was not well, and was very unsure of where she was.  

To attend to her immediate needs, we took her to a private hospital where she received her first medical treatment since the earthquake. She cried and thanked us repeatedly as the doctor examined her. 

“I don't understand who would help someone like me,” Samar told us, “the earth is shaking, and water is flooding the city – you have the freedom to keep warm in a safe city, yet you come here to help someone like me.”

As we thought about how best to respond, Samar interrupted the silence: “Maybe this is the power of God!” 

Arriving back in the neighbourhood later, the community had prepared the iftar for the end of fasting. As the sun set, we ate together and celebrated another day on this earth. 

Donate to Emergency Response Fund