One year since earthquakes, DEC Turkey-Syria appeal hits £158 million, reaching over a million people

**A selection of images and footage from Turkey and Syria is available here. Additional images and footage available on request** 

Donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal have reached over £158 million it announced today. The announcement comes one year since two major earthquakes devastated large parts of southern Turkey (now known as Türkiye) and northwest Syria. The total includes £5 million matched by the UK Government through the Aid Match scheme.

The total makes the DEC the biggest charity donor to the earthquake response, according to UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service, and the appeal the third biggest in the DEC’s 60-year history. 

Thanks to the generous response from the UK public, over a million people were supported through the appeal across the two countries in the first six months after the disaster. Funds from the appeal have enabled local responders to make a huge difference to people who lost their loved ones, homes and livelihoods, helping them on the long road to recovery.  

The devastating earthquakes – the first of which struck at 4.17am when many people were sleeping – killed more than 56,000 people and destroyed or badly damaged over 300,000 buildings. One year on, the damage caused is still apparent in many areas and 787,000 people in Turkey are still living in temporary camps. In northwest Syria, 2 million are displaced due to the earthquakes and conflict there.  

Over the year, people who lost their homes have faced freezing temperatures, flooding and extreme heat over the summer. The anniversary has brought bad memories and fears of another earthquake for many, with psychologists reporting an increase in crying, insomnia and eating disorders in recent weeks.

DEC charities and their local partners have been supporting people in camps with clean water, food, toilets, household items, medical care and working to meet an increasing demand for psychological support. The largest share of the money spent so far has been on cash payments and supermarket vouchers for people affected by the earthquakes. This allows families to buy what they need and supports the local economy.

For example, in the first six months of the response, DEC charities and their local partners used DEC funding to provide:

  • 921,000 people with access to safe drinking water.  
  • 269,000 people with emergency food parcels or vouchers to buy food. 
  • 186,000 people with hygiene kits including laundry soap and washing up liquid, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. 
  • 150,000 people with household kits including blankets, kitchen items and clothing  
  • 2,300 people with access to healthcare, including medicines and medical items  
    34,100 people with mental health or psychosocial support

For more information on the DEC’s response in Turkey and Syria, see the detailed Progress Report published last week.

Saleh Saeed, Chief Executive of the DEC, travelled to Turkey in 2023 to visit DEC funded projects. He said:

“I want to say a huge thank you to each and every person who donated to this appeal and for the incredible support they’ve provided for people affected by the earthquakes over the last year. That those donations have made a difference in over a million people’s lives is simply incredible, and in many cases that support will have been lifesaving.”

“Having visited the epicentre of the earthquake in Türkiye myself last year, I know recovery from an event of this scale will take time. But I am reassured by the fact DEC charities are working to ensure money is being used to address people’s most pressing needs. Whether that be access to clean water, medicine or cash support that helps families regain their independence, every donation is making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Salah Aboulgasem, an aid worker for DEC charity Islamic Relief, was one of the early responders in Turkey after the earthquake struck. He said:  

“What was first apparent when we arrived was the scale and size, the destruction and the disappear you could see on people's faces. It became apparent that it was huge and an unbelievable number of people had been affected.  

“We are very thankful to all the donors who have supported. Without the support for organisations like the DEC and Islamic Relief we wouldn't have been able to respond as quickly as we did.”

Faud Sayed Issa, founder of Violet, a local partner of DEC charity ActionAid, said:

“The funding from the British people and DEC allowed our Violet team to continue our work, it really changed our situation. We were able to save thousands of lives from under the rubble and provide first aid, shelter and food.  

“A lot of people in Syria and in Turkey are still living in tents and still need support with shelter and their basic needs. With the support of the DEC and British donors, we can continue to help others in crisis.”

Gareth Owen, Humanitarian Director of DEC charity Save The Children UK, said:

“When we know the DEC is going into action, it allows an agency like Save The Children to immediately put money on the ground - we don't have to wait. On day one we were able to put £2 million into our response.  

The scale of the earthquake was enormous and the long-term effects are very significant in a situation like this. Not only does the DEC allow us to take immediate action, helping meet basic needs, because funding is spaced over years, it allows us to take a long-term view.”  


Notes to editors:    
Media enquiries please call 07734 653616 or email      

•    Madara Hettiarachchi, the DEC’s Director of Programmes and Accountability is available for interview from Gaziantep, Turkey, following visits to projects funded by the appeal.

•    Saleh Saeed, the DEC’s Chief Executive, who has also visited the affected areas in Turkey, is available in London.

A collection of images and video footage of the aftermath of the earthquake and DEC charities responding is available here. Further images and footage are available on request. 
A fact file on the impact of the earthquakes 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 responding 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:

  • Online: 
  • 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.