Skip to main content
article atm-icon bar bell bio cancel-o cancel ch-icon crisis-color crisis cs-icon doc-icon down-angle down-arrow-o down-triangle download email-small email external facebook googleplus hamburger image-icon info-o info instagram left-angle-o left-angle left-arrow-2 left-arrow linkedin loader menu minus-o pdf-icon pencil photography pinterest play-icon plus-o press right-angle-o right-angle right-arrow-o right-arrow right-diag-arrow rss search tags time twitter up-arrow-o videos
Crisis Alert: Americares Responds to Deadly Earthquakes in Turkey & Syria

Suggested Content

Turkey and Syria Earthquakes

Active Emergency Photo: Kursad Bayhan
Feb. 6, 2023
Turkey and Syria
A young Syrian refugee kneels in front of rubble of a factory where he once worked before the earthquake.

Deadly Earthquakes

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye (Turkey) and Syria in the early morning hours of February 6, followed by a second powerful quake and more than100 aftershocks, killing at least 50,000 people, injuring tens of thousands, collapsing countless buildings, and posing a staggering humanitarian crisis in a region already struggling with manmade crises from years of war, refugees fleeing conflict and economic instability. It was the strongest earthquake in the region in nearly a century and the aftershocks continue with the recent quakes causing more panic and death. The death toll rose as massive rescue operations transitioned to search and recovery and the winter cold threatened survivors. The disaster has affected millions of people in the region as many lack food, water and shelter. With major damage to health facilities in Türkiye and Syria, access to basic health care becomes an immediate concern.

Americares is offering assistance to partner organizations in Türkiye and Syria and is responding with medicine, relief supplies and emergency funding to help survivors access health services.

Updated 3/21/2023

(Photo: Jeff Kennel) Please click on the arrow and meet Abdul, telling the story of how he and his family survived the earthquake.

Our Response

Following the initial work of our Emergency Team, an Americares shipment of lifesaving medicines, surgical supplies and wound care products arrived in northwest Syria three days after the earthquake. To date, Americares has delivered more than 17 tons of medicines and relief supplies, valued at more than $12 million. including wound care products, IV fluids, antibiotics and pain relievers to support 29 health facilities in Syria. Americares is working with longtime partner organizations the Syrian American Medical Society and Shafak to support earthquake survivors in Idleb and Aleppo.

A long camera shot of a large shipment of relief supplies that sits at the airport after being unloaded with three team members checking the shipment at the right. Planes visible in the background.
An Americares Emergency Relief Team receives the 16 tons of Americares medicine and supplies in Adana, Turkiye as part of a large aid shipment delivered by the UPS Foundation, Feb. 21, 2023. (Photo/Jeff Kennel)

Americares is also providing emergency funding to local health partners working in the region to help restore health services, support displaced populations and provide mental health support in the hardest hit communities. Funds will be used to:

–Fuel hospital generators and ambulances, purchase essential medicines and support  intensive care units, emergency rooms and operating rooms in affected areas.

–Purchase Rotavirus vaccines to prevent outbreaks at shelters and other shared living spaces housing survivors.

–Purchase blankets, warm clothing and hygiene products for earthquake survivors and workers clearing the rubble. Hatay and Mersin, where about 30,000 people are displaced, are among the communities Americares is supporting.

–Purchase laundry containers that will allow survivors to wash their clothes at no cost. Many families have not had access to this basic necessity for more than 30 days after the earthquake.

Funds will also help support the mental health needs of earthquake survivors by:

— Building two rehabilitation centers for children in Hatay and Kahramanmaras, where psychological counselors will be available to support their mental health needs. Both centers will also have designated play and social areas for the children.

–Operating a therapy tent and a playground for children in as well as to refer survivors to mental health services.

Families and especially children who have lost everything face extraordinary trauma...

A teddy bear sits in the earthquake rubble in Turkey surrounded by cable, rebar and concrete remnants.
A teddy bear sits in the rubble of an apartment building that collapsed in Maras, Türkiye. (Photo: Jeff Kennel)

Identifying Medical Needs

There continues to be a critical need for medicines and medical supplies, including antibiotics, IV fluids and wound care products, as well as primary care and chronic disease medications to resupply damaged health facilities and support essential health services for families displaced by the earthquakes. Americares is prepared to meet those needs—and more.

And there are mental health needs. Among the millions of people in need in this region are families affected by the civil war in Syria, including Syrian refugees living in southern Türkiye (Turkey). Many earthquake survivors have also experienced trauma from the war and are now displaced yet again, facing an even more uncertain future.

“Our relief workers have extensive experience coordinating large-scale shipments of medicine and relief supplies, mobilizing emergency aid in crisis situations and restoring health services for disaster survivors, and we are on the ground to help address the most pressing health needs of families affected by the crisis.”

Cora Nally, Americares Director of International Emergency Response

a child's red toy car sits in foreground in sea of contents spread on ground from the ruined apartment buildings behind.
Much of Iskenderun, a port city located in Turkiye’s southern Hatay province, lay in ruins after the magnitude 7.8 quake Feb. 22, 2023 (Photo/Jeff Kennel)

Our History

Americares has been providing assistance to Syria for more than a decade, delivering medicine, medical supplies and relief items to partner organizations in northwest Syria assisting families affected by the long running civil war. Americares supports more than 50 health centers in the region serving children and adults.

Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization responds to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters.