The international aid organisation CARE is preparing to deliver essential items to people who are out on the streets following deadly earthquakes that impacted Türkiye and Syria on Monday morning local time.
According to meteorological reports, a snowstorm is looming over the region, parts of which have already been severely impacted by conflict.
Northwest Syria has been the site of most of the violence in the country in recent years, and more than 60 percent of the 4.6 million people in the region have fled their homes due to violence. Many of them will now be displaced once again.
Prior to the earthquakes, CARE and local partners were delivering blankets, food, mattresses, tents, and other essential items to people in need amid harsh weather conditions.
Sherine Ibrahim, Country Director of CARE Türkiye, said this work would continue, with cold weather making it difficult but all-the-more necessary.
“We are hampered by the extreme weather including snowfall over Southeast Türkiye and Northwest Syria, making it very difficult for us to access roads, warehouses and supplies that are desperately needed at this current time,” Ms Ibrahim said.
“Currently, we’re in dire need of immediate support in the form of financial assistance to make sure that those who are out in the cold are able to find warmth, those who are hungry are able to eat, and children who are already suffering from malnutrition are able to survive.
“Obviously, our priority, at this point, is the people of Southeast Türkiye and Northwest Syria, who have been hit the hardest by one of the most destructive and wide-reaching earthquakes to impact the region in recent times.”
CARE Türkiye hopes to collaborate with Turkish authorities to deliver essential supplies to people who have sought refuge in schools, mosques, and other temporary shelters allocated by the government.
CARE Türkiye is also currently assessing the scale and severity of the damage caused to infrastructure, and is establishing the safety of staff and their families as well as that of partner organisations based in Gaziantep and Northwest Syria.
The first powerful earthquake — a 7.8 on the Richter scale — occurred at 4:17am Monday local time and was felt as far as Lebanon, Jordan, and Cyprus. Another major earthquake — of 7.5 magnitude — was recorded at 1:24pm, 100km north of the epicentre of this first quake.
CARE currently has spokespeople available in Australia and aims to have spokespeople in the region available as soon as possible. For interviews contact Iona Salter on 0413 185 634.
For more information and to donate, visit our Türkiye & Syria Earthquake Emergency page.