One year after the earthquake that struck Türkiye and Syria, ADRA continues to help.

On February 6, 2023, a major earthquake struck Eastern Türkiye and bordering Syria. This earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks caused vast destruction on each side of the border. Thousands of women, men and children lost their lives. Essential infrastructure, including health facilities, were destroyed.

At least 8.8 million people have been affected by the earthquake in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), where prior to the earthquake, an estimated 15.3 million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance. 

” When the earthquake happened, my sister and I were sleeping. My mother woke us up and told us to get out of the house. It was shaking in all directions. We were very scared and ran into the street, and there were a lot of people. We were soaked from the rain and very cold.”

– Adam, age 8, Latakia (Al-Haffeh), Syria, February 20, 2023.

From the first hours after the disaster, ADRA teams were on the ground to provide emergency assistance to those most affected, especially children, pregnant women and the elderly: distribution of emergency supplies (food, drinking water, blankets, etc.) and provision of generators to restore the drinking water distribution system.

How ADRA was able to help with your donation:

In Türkiye, ADRA supported rescue teams and various local organisations, which provided emergency shelters and relief supplies to those affected. In total, over 50 aid workers were deployed and provided over 9,000 people with winter-proof tents, gas cookers and warm clothing. Following the emergency relief operations, ADRA ended its work in Türkiye and is now focusing its aid on families in Syria, where it took up its relief work immediately following the earthquake.

ADRA has been working in Syria for many years and was, therefore, able to help immediately after the disaster. Our team of around 110 employees and volunteers were deployed in three regions: Latakia, Aleppo and Hama. In the first few days after the disaster, they distributed 14,005 meals, 3,572 food parcels and 590 blankets and repaired three emergency shelters. The aid in the first phase reached around 46,000 women, men and children.

What needs to be done now: Reconstruction after the earthquake

In the first phase, ADRA ensured the survival of the people on the ground. ADRA has been working on reconstruction in Latakia, Aleppo and Hama. Destroyed schools are being renovated. Schoolchildren who could no longer attend school due to the earthquake receive extra tuition. This makes it easier for them to return to school. Families also receive technical advice and a financial subsidy to enable them to reopen their small businesses. This allows the families to stand on their own two feet again.

Families who are not yet able to repair their homes are also receiving support. Shelters have been renovated and upgraded with suitable hygiene facilities. ADRA distributes aid packages containing hygiene products, nappies for babies, warm clothing, mattresses and blankets. ADRA is providing cleaning products to improve hygiene in different collective shelters. Families receive a grant so that they can repair their damaged homes. ADRA is also working with the local authorities to repair the water networks, such as water channels and overhead water tanks.

Homeless and unemployed – Nahla finds new hope.

With your support, we are not only investing in reconstruction but also giving single mothers like Nahla the chance of a better life for themselves and their children.

Nahla is the mother of two girls and two boys. Before the devastating earthquake, they all led a simple but contented life. Nahla always wanted all four children to go to school. The family home was destroyed in the earthquake on 6 February 2023, and Nahla lost her job as a cleaner. Since then, the five of them have lived in one room in the Omar Abu Risha collective accommodation centre. Nahla is grateful that her children are still alive, but the effects of the earthquake are omnipresent. The daughters still go to school, but the sons have dropped out and go to work to support their families.

Nahla gets to know ADRA in the collective accommodation centre, where ADRA distributes food and hygiene products. One day, Nahla is offered the opportunity to take care of the cleanliness in the collective centre. She accepts and draws new hope from this job.

“Every mother fights for her children!”

Nahla knows how difficult it is to provide for a family with limited resources. She says: “Every mother fights for a good future for her children!”

Pictures: ADRA Syria