Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria

Red Crescent worker helps family
A devastating, 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye in the early hours of February 6, 2023, which was quickly followed by a second earthquake and multiple aftershocks. The earthquakes hit near Gaziantep, Türkiye, impacting 11 provinces in the south and southeast of the country, as well as highly vulnerable areas in northern Syria.

Thousands of people have lost their lives and millions of people are impacted in the biggest earthquake in Türkiye and Syria in a century. Thousands have been left homeless in below-zero temperatures without their belongings to keep them warm and protect them from the cold weather.

In Syria, the earthquake has exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation

Many people including Red Crescent workers dig through rubble looking for people

The earthquake hit at a time when humanitarian needs in Syria are at their highest since the conflict began. With more than 90 per cent of people living in poverty and about 6.7 million people internally displaced, the country is experiencing economic deterioration, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, cholera, unfavorable winter conditions, and now devastating earthquakes. In Latakia, Aleppo, Hama, Idlib and Tartous, thousands of families have lost loved ones, homes and belongings once again at a time where their coping mechanisms are already depleted. 

Find out more about how the Canadian Red Cross is supporting Syria Crisis

How the Canadian Red Cross is helping people affected by the earthquakes

The Canadian Red Cross launched the Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria Appeal, which will allow the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to deliver emergency relief and to get help to those impacted by the earthquakes.
  • The Canadian Red Cross is working closely with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Turkish Red Crescent to provide support in the most effective way. We have a long-standing relationship with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Turkish Red Crescent.
  • The Canadian Red Cross maintains a full-time presence in Syria, and have been providing support there since 2012.
  • We have Canadian Red Cross humanitarian experts on the ground in Syria and Türkiye. These deployments are supported by the Government of Canada and generous donations from people in Canada.
  • Working with the Canadian Red Cross, the Government of Canada sent 22,000 relief items to help the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s humanitarian response efforts in Türkiye. This includes blankets, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, and jerry cans.
Local Red Crescent teams have been on the ground from the beginning

Turkish Red CrescentRed Crescent workers unloading supplies from a helicopter
The Turkish Red Crescent mobilized more than 5,000 personnel and experts to respond to the crisis. They are providing food service – including hot meals and clean water – health care in rural areas and in temporary shelters through mobile clinics, and distributing vouchers to people who have evacuated to other parts of the country. They are also distributing emergency relief items including hygiene kits, winterized shelters, blankets, and other household goods. Turkish Red Crescent teams have set up mental health and psychosocial support spaces for people affected, those in temporary shelters, first responders and healthcare workers, as well as child-friendly spaces.

Syrian Arab Red Crescent Red Crescent workers ready to help people that were found in the rubble
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams are providing vital on-the-ground support, including search and rescue, shelter, emergency medical services, fixed and mobile healthcare, mental health support, food and other relief distribution, water and sanitation services. 
Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams also have distributed relief items, including shelter, blankets, winter clothes and hygiene supplies. Teams are working around the clock to save lives, but resources are limited as the country deals with the impact of more than a decade of conflict.

How people living in Canada can help those impacted by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria

We are grateful for the concern and generosity of people living in Canada for those affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

Make a donation
The easiest  and most effective way to support the work of the Red Cross in Türkiye and Syria is to donate to the Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria Appeal online or by calling 1-800-418-1111. Making a financial donation is always the best way to support our humanitarian efforts on the ground.
Money raised will enable the Red Cross Red Crescent to provide immediate relief, ongoing recovery efforts, and resiliency and preparedness activities in impacted and surrounding areas. The activities and areas impacted may evolve based on emerging needs and compounding humanitarian crises.