DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal reaches £150m, six months on from the disaster

Since the deadly earthquakes six months ago [6 February 2022], the first of which struck in the early hours of the morning when many people were asleep and destroyed thousands of buildings, survivors have faced first torrential rains and flooding and now the extreme heat affecting much of southern Europe.

The generous response of the UK public has made this appeal the third largest in the DEC’s 60-year history and enabled local responders to make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of people who lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones and help them slowly start to recover.

Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, actor, Love Island winner and British Red Cross supporter, recently travelled to Turkey with the DEC charity, where she met children who had lost parents to the earthquake.  

She said: “The situation is truly heart-breaking, I travelled to Turkey with British Red Cross, and I saw how much communities have been through since the earthquakes. It was obvious that there is still a lot of work to be done, but donations to the DEC appeal are making a difference. I want to thank everyone who has supported the appeal.”

Saleh Saeed, Chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee, returned this week from visiting DEC-funded projects in Gaziantep, southern Turkey, where he met people affected by the earthquakes. They included Zeynep and Mehmet, whose farmhouse was destroyed in the earthquake and have received supermarket vouchers from DEC charity British Red Cross to help buy food and other essentials.

Mr Saeed said: “It was humbling to meet Zeynep and Mehmet and hear how they and their seven children had been trapped under the rubble. Thankfully they all survived, although Zeynep couldn’t walk for a month or so and the trauma they are suffering is evident. The whole family is living in a tent while they wait for their new home to be built and the conditions are very harsh.  When I visited last week, it was uncomfortably hot, about 41C, but when the earthquake struck the temperatures were freezing.  

“DEC charities are working tirelessly to help people cope and make life more comfortable. From mobile physiotherapy clinics helping people recover from their injuries to psychological support for children, to providing hygiene and sanitation to avoid the spread of deadly diseases - this is vital, life-changing help.  

“Your donations over the last six months have been remarkably generous and are helping DEC charities continue to address the people’s most pressing needs, on both sides of the border. It’s clear that it will be a very long road to recovery from this terrible disaster, but we met so many people in Türkiye who wanted us to thank the British public and all who have supported them through the DEC. Thank you to everyone who has donated, we are all incredibly grateful.”

Syria is currently in its 12th year of civil war, with 60% of people in the region affected by the earthquakes already being displaced, many of them living in extreme hardship.  

Clynton Beukes, Programmes Director for DEC charity World Vision's Syria response said: “Moving on from the initial shock and awe of the earthquake, things have stabilised a little, but the needs here are still huge. People right now are in a situation that I don’t think any of us could ever imagine ourselves being in or wish on anyone.  

“I was truly astounded by the generosity of the British public to the people of Syria and Turkey. It’s been humbling to see the amount that’s been raised, and we have been able to use that to meet the needs of people affected by the earthquake. I can tell you without doubt that your donations have meant more than just money to people in Syria. It has meant that they feel like they’ve been seen when they thought they had been forgotten.”

Shahinaz*, 70, is one of the people receiving cash payments to help meet her immediate needs from DEC charity Concern Worldwide in northwest Syria. She was rescued from underneath the rubble and now looks after two children who were orphaned in the earthquake. She said: “I am grateful to the organisations who have visited and provided food baskets and cash to buy basic items for ourselves. With the $150 we received I want to buy some new clothes for the children as we lost all our clothes in the earthquake.”

Using donations to the appeal, DEC charities and their local partners are delivering vital aid in both government and non-government-controlled areas of Syria, ensuring people have enough to eat, clean water to drink and safe places to stay.

Across both countries, over the first three months following the earthquake, almost half (46%) of aid expenditure went on providing cash payments to more than 40,000 of the families most in need.

Making direct payments via cash or vouchers is a very efficient way of delivering aid when local markets are functioning, reducing transport and administration costs and allowing people to choose how best to meet their personal needs - for example on food, medicine or rent.

In the first three months of the DEC response, across both countries:  

  • 40,300 households received cash or voucher payments to help meet their basic needs
  • 427,000 people provided with access to safe drinking water  
  • 201,000 people received emergency food or a voucher for food  
  • 48,200 people accessed health services such as mobile clinics, medical kits, and free medication


Notes to editors:    

Media enquiries please call 020 7387 0200 or 07734 653616 (out of hours) or email        

Spokespeople from the affected areas are available for media interview.  

A collection of images and video footage of the aftermath of the earthquake and DEC charities responding is available here.      

About the DEC: The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities at times of crisis overseas to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response. The DEC’s 15 member charities are: Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK.          

Fourteen of the DEC’s 15 members are either responding or planning to respond in Turkey and Syria and will receive funds from this appeal. Some may work through trusted local partners. They are Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK.        

Through UK Aid Match the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) gives the British public the opportunity to have a say in how the UK aid budget is spent whilst boosting the impact of the very best British charities to change and save the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.        

UK Aid Match has increased the impact of a number of DEC appeals to help those in need around the world, including most recently Pakistan Floods Appeal and Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, both in 2022.  The UK matched up to £25 million of public donations to DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal - the largest commitment ever made to a DEC appeal through UK Aid Match.      

Enquiries about UK Aid Match and UK Government support for Turkey/Syria should be directed to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Newsdesk. Please email    

How to donate:          


Phone: 0370 60 60 610        

Text to give/SMS: for press releases: text SUPPORT to 70787 to donate £10. Other partners should use the specific text codes they have been provided with by the DEC.        

Donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque by post to: DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA.