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People need urgent support now

Aid following earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye

Several earthquakes shook southeastern Türkiye, near the border with Syria, on February 6, 2023. Over 56,000 people lost their lives. The World Health Organization has called it the region's worst natural disaster in a century.

Millions of people need aid after earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye

The quakes destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes. In Türkiye, two million earthquake survivors have lost their homes; in northwestern Syria, more than 500.000 are homeless due to the disaster.

Millions of civil war refugees from Syria are seeking shelter in the region affected by the earthquake. In northwestern Syria, about 4.1 million of the 4.5 million inhabitants were already dependent on humanitarian aid before the earthquakes. There is a lack of food, drinking water, electricity and heating fuel. The disaster has only worsened their situation.

6 Months after the Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria: Our work continues

In the six months since the devastating disaster, Welthungerhilfe (WHH) has been able to support more than 120,000 affected people with vital relief supplies – and our work continues. Yasin Almaz, Welthungerhilfe Communications Officer in Turkey, reports on the current situation.

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Situation in Syria particularly precarious after earthquake

"The war in Syria has been going on for 12 years now and has weakened the infrastructure of buildings," explains Melik El Tahir, Welthungerhilfe's (WHH) Security Officer in Azaz. "During the strong earthquake, many buildings collapsed, especially in the Idlib region and in Jainderis, south of Afrin."

"Children are the most vulnerable in this disaster," explains Jackson Nabaala, WHH's Acting Country Director for Türkiye and Syria. "They have to sleep outside with their parents in the cold – often without adequate shelter or blankets. They are traumatized by what they have experienced and because they have lost loved ones."

Thousands of families in dire need after earthquakes

Ali AlHassan fled Syria eleven years ago and lived with his wife and children in Urfa until the quake made their house uninhabitable. "It was the worst minute of our lives. We tried to leave the house and run downstairs from the third floor, but the lock was stuck. I thought the ceiling was going to collapse and bury us all under it." The family managed to save themselves, but Ali can still hear the screams of those who didn't make it.

A WHH partner organization was able to find a place for the family to stay in Mardin. There, a soup kitchen provides meals to more than 1,000 families daily, including the AlHassan family. More than 30,000 people have arrived in Mardin after the earthquakes. They need all the support possible.

Meals & shelter for people who have lost everything

How Selma survived with her family is a mystery to her. She and her daughters were miraculously unharmed, and her husband Mustafa was rescued from the rubble. "It was dark and everything was shaking. I felt heavy stones falling on my legs and I couldn't move," he recalls. "The fear for my family was the biggest. I thought the earthquake was the end of us." Nothing remained for the family, who now live in a 16-square-meter tent. 

WHH delivers fresh meals daily to the family and 3,000 other people in Islahiye County – this will continue until they can provide for themselves again.

I would like to donate to the earthquake emergency relief!

Zwei Frauen packen Kisten mit Hygieneprodukten. 30€

the cost of, for example, a hygiene package for a family of six with soap, toothbrushes, sanitary napkins, washing powder and more.

Eine Frau trägt Kanister mit Diesel 130€

the cost of, for example, two diesel-powered stoves including heating fuel for families who are temporarily living in a tent.

Männer stellen große Zelten als Notunterkunft für Familien auf 550€

the cost of, for example, a tent for a family in Türkiye, where they can stay temporarily.

Or enter your desired amount here
  • Eine Frau und ein Mann stehen in einem Zelt und verteilen Mahlzeiten.

    Distribution of meals in Islahiye, where people who lost their homes during the earthquake are now living in tents.

  • Zwei Frauen bereiten in großen Kochtöpfen Mahlzeiten für Erdbebenopfer zu.

    Women's cooperative workers in Gaziantep prepare meals for earthquake survivors. Every day up to 3,000 people receive a fresh meal and breakfast for the next day.

  • Erdbeben in der Türkei: Eine Familie steht vor einem Zelt, sie alle schauen in die Kamera.

    Mustafa with his wife Selma and their children Belina, Yara, and Assai. The family lost their house in the earthquake and now lives in a tent in Islahiye. They receive meals from WHH.

  • Zwei Frauen packen Hilfsgüter in Kartons.

    WHH staff pack emergency relief supplies for people affected by the earthquake in Türkiye.

  • Ein Mitarbeiter einer Hilfsorganisation übergibt in Folie verpackte Brote an einen Mann

    WHH partner SHAFAK has begun distributing bread packages to people who have once again been displaced due to the earthquake in northwestern Syria.

  • Ein Mitarbeiter der Welthungerhilfe überreicht einem Familienvater ein Paket mit frischen Lebensmitteln

    Mohammed Shibli (left) fled from Sanliurfa to Mardin with his wife, two daughters and four grandchildren. The family home collapsed. He receives fresh meals from WHH.

We are supporting people with essential aid

People in the affected regions still need support. Above all, they need a secure supply of food and drinking water. Those who have lost their homes need blankets and tents. In addition to material aid, those affected need psychological support, especially traumatized children.

We are on the ground in Türkiye and Syria supporting the survivors of the earthquake disaster.

Help us to support the people with more essential relief supplies.

I want to help the people affected by the earthquake in Syria and Türkiye!

What exactly is WHH doing in the region affected by the earthquake?

Together with our partner organization SARD, we are distributing blankets, tents, ready-to-eat meals and stoves to people affected by the earthquake in northwestern Syria. A community center is being repaired for use as an emergency shelter. Other minor repair work is taking place to stabilize damaged buildings.

In Türkiye, we are supporting people with food, baby food and drinking water.

Where is WHH helping in the areas affected by the earthquake?

WHH has its regular offices in Türkiye in Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin and Hatay, as well as in Istanbul and in the northern Syrian provinces of Idlib and Aleppo. We are carrying out our relief work in the affected areas near these sites.

How does WHH guarantee that donations and aid supplies reach the people who need them?

We implement projects – including emergency aid – ourselves or through independent local partner organizations that we trust. Passing on funds or goods is not transparent and does not comply with our Code of Conduct. Project activities, whether in development cooperation or emergency aid, are always budgeted and all expenditures must be accounted for. Our projects are subject to regular internal and external audits to ensure that funds are used correctly. Corruption is an offense that will be punished. This is agreed upon by each WHH employee in their contract. Before distributing relief supplies, surveys are carried out to determine which people have what exact needs. We record the distribution of relief supplies to individuals so the process can be measured and carried out equitably.

Can I personally help out on the ground?

In the event of crises and disasters, WHH only sends qualified staff who have undergone security training to the affected regions. They coordinate the relief measures professionally on the ground. In the regions affected by earthquakes, we have always worked with reliable partner organizations and can thus make optimum use of existing structures and contacts to provide aid to those in need. We understand that many people want to volunteer, especially when their own family and friends have been affected by the disaster. However, please understand that while we sincerely appreciate such offers of help, we cannot accept them. Coordinating volunteers would take a lot of additional energy. Furthermore, especially in disaster situations, experience and expertise in crisis management, language and local knowledge are absolutely necessary. All WHH employees who are sent to crisis regions must have completed safety training in advance. We hope you understand that we cannot accept offers for this reason.

Does WHH accept in-kind donations?

Relief goods such as clothing, food, tents, hygiene articles, etc. are available locally or at least regionally. As a matter of principle, WHH strives for local and regional procurement, because this means that less money is spent on avoidable transports, import duties, storage, distribution costs, etc. The money saved can be better invested directly in aid. WHH can better invest the money saved directly in aid. Moreover, we can strengthen the markets in a country and trust that the needs will be served appropriately and that the food and other relief supplies that people are accustomed to will be accepted. The organizational and financial effort for the coordination of donations in kind from overseas is extensive and ties up personnel and money that is urgently and quickly needed for immediate aid in such a disaster. We have already been able to procure relief supplies both in Türkiye and in northwestern Syria.

Your donation helps those in need

In 2022, we were able to accomplish a lot with your help

Why should I support WHH?

A life without hunger is a human right. Yet millions of people around the world go hungry. Together with our supporters, we have a goal: #ZeroHunger by 2030 – in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

How does WHH work in concrete terms?

WHH works according to the principle of "empowering people to help themselves". We implement aid projects so that people can sustainably provide for themselves and make our own work superfluous in the long term. With our donors, we support entire communities worldwide in order to improve their infrastructure and advance their development to create a fair foundation for all people in a region.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes! Up to €300 is recognized by the German tax office without a donation receipt and is tax-deductible. A bank statement is sufficient as proof.

For donations over €300, the tax office requires an annual donation receipt, which we send automatically at the beginning of the following year. If you need a donation receipt beforehand, please let us know.

How safe is it to donate online?

Donating via our online donation form is just as secure as online banking. The data is transmitted fully encrypted. We use the SSL procedure for the encryption.

Will my donation actually help those in need?

To ensure that the use of donations is traceable, we make this process as transparent as possible. Therefore, WHH regularly reports on aid projects in our annual report so that you know what happens with your donations.

Bank Details

Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V.
Sparkasse KölnBonn
IBAN DE15 3705 0198 0000 0011 15

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Welthungerhilfe has been holding the DZI seal of approval for donations since 1992. The seal certifies that Welthungerhilfe is handling the funds entrusted to it efficiently and responsibly.