08 February 2023 | Türkiye and Syria [ADRA Europe]
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is stepping up emergency response efforts to assist victims of the powerful earthquake that struck southern Türkiye and northwest Syria just before sunrise on Monday, 6 February, 2023.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake and more than 140 aftershocks devastated the region near Nurdağı and Gaziantep, injuring more than 20,000 people and killing at least 11,000, according to the most recent media reports, with numbers rising daily. Authorities claim the quake was the strongest in more than a century.
“An ADRA disaster response unit is already on the ground assessing the situation and collaborating with local governments and trusted partners. Rescue and evacuation operations are still ongoing in both Türkiye* and Syria, and ADRA’s country office in Syria, which has two locations, will be manning the emergency response in the affected region,” Mario Oliveira, emergency response management director for ADRA International, said. “As our emergency assessment progresses and we determine the critical needs of many thousands of reported victims, ADRA will be ready to help by providing aid such as multipurpose cash assistance, essential supplies, food, and shelter.”
More than 5,000 buildings, including hospitals, were destroyed, according to local authorities. The disaster had a significant impact on northwest Syria, where more than 4 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. The vast majority are women and children.
“For over ten years, ADRA offices have been implementing a variety of humanitarian relief projects, including shelter, health, and education initiatives for refugee families and children in the region. In the aftermath of this massive disaster, ADRA remains committed to assisting vulnerable communities and families in rebuilding their lives. Please keep Syria and Türkiye in your thoughts and prayers,” Kelly Dowling, emergency response manager for ADRA International, said.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.
* Türkiye – since 2021 the country began a push for the wider world to adopt the same spelling and pronunciation.
The original version of this story was posted by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency [Photo: ADRA Europe].