In response to this major earthquake in Syria and Turkey, EU-CORD members have come together to provide much-needed aid and support to those affected.
Hungarian Baptist Aid was one of the first organisations to respond, sending its Rescue24 International Fire and Rescue Team to Turkey to assess the situation and provide assistance.
The special rescuers have to check around two thousand houses in Antakya, a settlement near the Syrian border, where many people may still be trapped under the ruins. The search dogs that arrived with the Baptist team started working four-hour shifts, four at a time. The HUBA Rescue24 International Fire Brigade, Search and Rescue Team and an emergency medical team with 19 specialists and 7 rescue dogs, arrived in Antakya near the Syrian border on Tuesday late afternoon, under the direction of commander László Pavelcze, HBAid’s Emergency Management Director. They set up their base there and immediately began the search based on the coordinates provided by the locals. Stay updated on the Rescue24 Teams efforts: Hungarian Baptist Aid | Facebook
Medair, a Swiss-based humanitarian organization, is responding in Syria, with a particular focus on Aleppo where they have had an office for several years. They are also active in Turkey through their Global Emergency Response Team. Medair will provide aid in WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), shelter, and repairing and equipping clinics.
Dorcas (Netherlands) is present in North-West Syria, Aleppo, Idlib, and Hama. They have already started distributing hot meals to those in need, and their main initial response will include providing food and shelter, health services, and protection.
ZOA (Netherlands) is responding in Syria and is well-positioned to provide aid due to its presence in the country. They will be working in consortia with other organizations to maximize their impact.
Fida (Finland) is responding through Hungarian Baptist Aid and a church in Turkey.
Mission East (Denmark),
The assistance provided by Mission East and its partners is being prioritized to reach the newly displaced and most affected individuals in one of the worst affected governorates, namely Aleppo. Within the already fragile and protracted Syrian crisis, vulnerable sections of the population, such as women, children, youth and the elderly, already made vulnerable by a lack of sustained access to food, healthcare, electricity, education, housing, and viable livelihood opportunities, have been put even more at risk in the aftermath of the earthquake. Mission East’s response to date has been as follows:
Earthquake-affected households in the governorate of Aleppo have been provided with winterization and food assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake;
- Vulnerable affected households are going to be provided with cash disbursements (Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance – MPCA) for a period of 3 consecutive months. An earthquake-specific Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) was prepared in coordination with the different sectors to account for the disaster, which differs from the pre-emergency MEB. A flexible approach will be ensured to adapt in frequency and/or value of the MPC transfers, in order to be aligned with all actors on the ground. Cash assistance has been adopted as the most appropriate modality in current circumstances, as it will allow affected households to meet their lifesaving needs, while providing them with the dignity of choice and the ability to prioritise what type of relief they need. In areas where cash proves not to be a feasible modality, ME will switch to in-kind support to help households meet their basic needs, in which case food parcels, hygiene kits, etc. (based on Cluster recommendations) will be distributed to targeted households.
Mission East and Implementing Partners:
ME Capacity in Syria: ME, registered in Syria since 2022 and active since 2019, will be responsible for all monitoring, oversight and partner capacity-support (accountability mechanisms and finance), also ensuring compliance with humanitarian principles.
Implementing Partner – Social, Humanitarian, Economic Intervention for Local Development (SHEILD): A regional (Lebanese) actor, SHEILD has been active with a local presence in Syria since 2019. SHEILD is currently ME’s key implementing partner in Syria and Lebanon through the Danish MoFA-funded SPA. SHEILD has extensive experience in humanitarian relief efforts for the Syria crisis, providing food assistance through WFP to Syrian refugees since 2013.
Implementing Partner – Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC): As the national member society for Syria under the International Federation of the Red Cross, SARC has been present in Syria since 1942 with a headquarters in Damascus, 14 branches in the 14 governorates of Syria, and 75 subbranches. SARC’s presence in all governorates supports ME in ensuring timely access to affected communities. ME and SARC signed a Memorandum of Agreement during 2022.
Other EU-CORD members, such as LM International, are looking to support implementing organisations with funding support.
In times of crisis, it is heartening to see organizations come together to provide aid and support to those in need. The efforts of EU-CORD members to respond to this disaster will significantly impact the lives of those affected and help bring some comfort and relief in these difficult times.