Stamford, Conn. – Feb. 6, 2023 – Americares is preparing to send medicine, relief supplies and emergency funding to restore health services for survivors of the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria early Monday, killing more than 2,000 people and injuring thousands more, according to local officials.
Hundreds are still believed to be trapped under the rubble and the death toll is expected to rise in both countries as strong aftershocks continue in the region, making rescue efforts even more difficult. The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck around 4 a.m. local time in Turkey’s Gaziantep province is one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years and was felt as far as Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Israel.
Americares relief workers immediately reached out to four longtime partner organizations working in Turkey and Syria to offer assistance. The health-focused relief and development organization is planning to send urgently needed medicines and relief supplies, including wound care products and first aid items, to supply health workers treating survivors. Americares is also preparing to provide emergency funding to local health partners working in the region to help restore health services in the hardest hit communities.
“The impact on the health system in both countries is devastating,” said Americares Director of International Emergency Response Cora Nally. “One of our partners on the ground in Syria is reporting that several hospitals are full, and others have had to evacuate patients after sustaining severe damage. Survivors need immediate medical care for broken bones, lacerations and other wounds and the medicine and relief supplies we will be providing will be put to use immediately to help save lives.”
Among the most urgent requests right now are trauma kits and first aid supplies, Nally said.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency is reporting 1,121 deaths and more than 7,634 people are injured and over 4,000 buildings have been damaged. Syrian officials reported 800 deaths.
Americares has a long history of responding to earthquakes all over the world, including the 2022 earthquake in Afghanistan, the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the 2010 and 2021 earthquakes in Haiti and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
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 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. Americares relief workers are among the first to respond to emergencies, helping to restore health services for survivors. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $20 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.
Donations to Americares Turkey-Syria Earthquake Relief Fund will support its response to the crisis. To donate, go to americares.org/Turkey-SyriaRelief
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