Global Caritas Network Joins Forces To Support Syrian and Turkish People
Death and injury tolls continues to rise as the search continues for missing loved ones in Syria and Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey on Monday (February 6), followed by 100 aftershocks throughout the week, also impacting the population in neighbouring Syria.
Consequently, thousands of people in both countries are exposed to winter conditions and without adequate access to food or shelter. To date, the combined death toll in Syria and Turkey has climbed to over 22,000, and an additional 75,500 people reported to be among the injured.
“We are dealing with deaths that are going over 21,000 people already and I think what we’re getting from the Caritas teams is that this only a small snapshot of what’s happening. We’re going to be facing a really difficult situation and a really long-term response,” says Caritas Internationalis’ Emergency Response Team Leader John Coughlin.
Caritas network from around the world are working together in Syria and Turkey to provide vital humanitarian assistance to those displaced by this disaster. Mattresses, blankets, hygiene kits and food baskets are among the items being distributed in cities and provinces affected by the earthquake.
In Aleppo, Syrian Patriarch Archbishop Absi, together with Caritas staff from Damascus will assist with the distribution of 1,300 food baskets, mattresses and blankets to six shelters in the city. Caritas Syria teams will also move to Lattakia to support additional distributions of aid.
To support Caritas Syria’s humanitarian efforts, Caritas Lebanon have mobilised 15 youth groups to assist with the distribution of aid in both Aleppo and Lattakia and Caritas Jordan will deliver hygiene kits and blankets to those most in need.
In Turkey, an emergency team has been created in Istanbul to help those affected by the impacts of the earthquake. In Iskenderun, which is very close to the sea, there are reports of a tsunami and floods affecting the province.
A Listening Center hotline was immediately established to provide support and assistance to those affected in Turkey when the disaster struck on Monday. Currently, Caritas teams are working alongside the Diocese of Istanbul, in order to set up shelters for the displaced.
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