Six months after the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the events have had an immeasurable impact, leading to the loss of thousands of lives and affecting millions more. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling for urgent support to affected communities still reeling from the monumental impacts of the disaster.
“We have seen astounding resiliency in communities, but people still find themselves stuck in a very difficult situation,” said Ruben Cano, IFRC Head of Delegation in Türkiye. “Many people in Türkiye — particularly those who lost their homes and income — are still struggling with their day-to-day needs, including paying for food, rent and other necessities. A ‘normal’ life is still far from reach.”
Many people are falling deeper into debt to help cover their needs, while they recover and build back income sources. More than 50 percent of families supported by the IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent are taking on new debts after the earthquakes as the country battles inflation and a drastic increase in prices.
In Syria, the reality for many people is even more dire — the earthquake's impact, coupled with 12 years of conflict, has rendered recovery exceedingly challenging. The economic situation continues to push already vulnerable communities deeper into hardship and uncertainty.
“The rescue phase of the earthquake response may have concluded, but the emergency situation persists,” says Mads Brinch Hansen, IFRC Head of Delegation in Syria. “Immediate international support is needed right now, both to meet immediate humanitarian needs, as well as to build people’s resilience and rehabilitate vital infrastructure and community services, which are on the brink of collapse.”
The IFRC, together with the Turkish Red Crescent and Syrian Arab Red Crescent, have been at the very heart of this response since day one. Teams have been providing immediate relief to affected communities, including food, water, shelter, healthcare and mental health and psychosocial support. Financial support through cash and vouchers are helping many families recover as best they can, as is support for rebuilding businesses and opportunities for income.
For its part, the American Red Cross has supported the response across Türkiye and Syria with financial assistance and five deployed staff members to assist with communications, information management and recovery planning. We will continue to work alongside the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network to provide assistance to earthquake-affected communities in the months to come.
To learn more about the IFRC response, visit here.