Teams from the Turkish Red Crescent deployed in ten affected provinces with stocks of food and basic aid items
Teams from the Turkish Red Crescent deployed in ten affected provinces with stocks of food and basic aid items

How DEC charities
are helping in
Turkey and Syria

How DEC charities are helping
survivors in Turkey and Syria

Teams from the Turkish Red Crescent deployed in ten affected provinces in Turkey with stocks of food and basic aid items such as tents and blankets to support those injured and evacuated. Photo: Turkish Red Crescent

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Thanks to the generosity of the UK public and the £150 million raised, DEC charities have been able to support hundreds of thousands of people in the affected areas across both countries. 

Funds are being used to provide vital assistance to the most vulnerable communities across the affected areas of southern Turkey and north-west Syria.


In north-west Syria around 60% of people in the region affected by the earthquakes were already displaced, many of them living in extreme hardship. 15.3 million people in Syria were in need of humanitarian assistance and 85% of households were unable to meet their basic needs.

The frontline between government-controlled and non-government-controlled areas runs through the regions worst affected by the earthquakes, and humanitarian agencies already faced provisional and uncertain access to these areas.

Many DEC charities were working in the region before the earthquake hit, including six members that were using funds in Syria raised by the DEC 2020 Coronavirus Appeal. Currently at least 25 local partners are working with DEC charities to get help where it’s most urgently needed.

A doctor from SEMA checks a patient in a mobile clinic in Syria

A doctor in a mobile clinic in Syria listens to Hakim's* heart and lungs in a project run by DEC charity Age International's partner SEMA. Photo: Karam Al-Masri/DEC

In the first 6 months of the response, DEC charities in Syria provided:
913,000 people were provided with access to safe drinking water through rehabilitation of water points, establishment of water stations, and water trucking.

One DEC member used water tankers in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes to give over 7,200 households access to safe drinking water. The charity also provided water storage tanks for over 8,600 people and helped to repair 17 water stations and six water networks. 

Another member improved access to safe water for 597,000 people by supplying generators, repairing damaged water networks and installing water tanks in affected areas. 

143,00 people received food assistance through emergency food parcels and vouchers for food.

Many DEC charities used appeal funds to provide food over several months to make sure support was substantial and long-term.

One DEC charity delivered emergency food parcels to over 5,400 households in the first six months following the earthquake including rice, bulgar, lentils, pasta, oil and margarine. These parcels aimed to give enough food for an average family of five for a three-month period.

Another distributed over 7,200 ready to eat food parcels in the same period. These were given to shelters and families taking care of orphans under the age of 16.

Shelter & essential items 
103,000 individuals received household items such as blankets, plastic sheeting, kitchen items and clothing.

As the earthquakes occurred amidst harsh winter conditions, DEC member charities have been assisting displaced families with temporary shelters, blankets and mattresses, warm clothes, and heating support.

One member and its partners distributed 696 tents during February and March, supporting 3,890 people, and kits with blankets and mattresses supporting 5,830 people. Furthermore, heating support including stoves or fuel was provided to 1,180 families, supporting a total of 6,350 people.

As well as tents, another DEC member used DEC funds to build 400 ‘better shelter’ units. These flat-pack, temporary single-room buildings are more robust than tents. They have a lifespan of three years and are built to withstand a variety of weather conditions.


The humanitarian response in Turkey

The two earthquakes in southern Turkey directly impacted 9.1 million people with over 50,000 people being killed. Three million people in Turkey were displaced to other parts of the country as 300,000 buildings were severely damaged or destroyed.

While government-led efforts are underway to move people to formal settlements, in May 2023 an estimated 1.6 million people are still living in informal settlements often close to destroyed or damaged houses.

The need for humanitarian support to the most vulnerable people remains urgent, particularly in the informal camps. NGOs and government entities continue to play a crucial role in providing support to these areas.

An Oxfam water truck provides water to earthquake survivors in Syria

Oxfam is using DEC funds to provide water to earthquake survivors in Syria. This water trucking delivered 182,000 litres of water to 26,000 people in 17 collective centres. Photo: Islam Mardini

In the first 6 months of the response, DEC charities in Turkey provided:
Cash assistance
154,000 benefited from cash or voucher assistance, so they have the flexibility to meet their specific needs, for example, to buy food, clothes or basic household needs.

Using it's relationship with local partners, one DEC charity has distributed over 140,000 DEC funded e-vouchers in 76 different provinces, with a value of over £2 million.

In the second phase of the response from August 2023 to January 2025, DEC member charities plan to continue to focus on cash assistance in Turkey, aiming to provide more than 130,000 people with payments or vouchers to help them meet their basic needs.

Water, sanitation and hygiene 
54,200 received hygiene kits containing laundry and dishwashing detergents, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap bars and shampoo. 

One DEC member through it's local partners provided clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene across several locations. This included 415 prefabricated toilets and 205 shower cabins, supporting over 8,000 people.

The same member also repaired unusable and broken toilet and shower units, including the facilities in a temporary school. Toilet cleaning kits were provided, and 89 commodes were given to people with disabilities and pregnant women. Over 49,000 litres of fresh drinking water were distributed in one province, benefiting over 2,900 people. 

Food parcels and vouchers
126,000 people received food assistance through emergency food parcels and vouchers for food. 

After the earthquakes, some people in rural areas and informal settlements faced limited access to food due to market disruption affecting the availability and price of food supplies. 

One DEC member provided emergency food for immediate consumption (such as dates, cakes, juice and water) to over 5,300 families. Food parcels containing essential items were given to 4,400 families.

Multiple DEC member charities set up community kitchens providing hot meals to displaced families. 
Two community kitchens, supported by one member prepared 226,000 hot meals for 3,000 people. 

Another member worked with women’s cooperatives and community groups to set up community kitchens, providing hot meals to 450 people. They also supported a women’s cooperative to produce and distribute packaged food items to 1,800 children.

Your donations are making a difference

Donations from the UK public are allowing DEC charities to scale up their humanitarian response, deliver lifesaving aid and support survivors both now and in the weeks and months ahead.

The needs in both Turkey and Syria are huge. The earthquakes lasted for minutes, but the aftermath will last for years. Please donate now so DEC charities can continue to help provide the support survivors need.