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Turkey-Syria earthquake: How to help

Building leveled in disaster

Zastolskiy Victor | Shutterstock

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 02/08/23

These 3 Catholic organizations are supporting rescue efforts and bringing aid to brothers and sisters in south-eastern Turkey and Syria.

The scenes are dire. Over 11,000 people are now estimated to have died and many are still trapped and in need of rescue. News reports say it is one of the worst earthquakes in terms of death and damages in over a decade.

As rescue teams from many countries make their way to the south-eastern border of Turkey and into Syria to help, we can be of assistance from our homes. In addition to praying for those who have died and those who are injured and still in need of rescue, we can support some of the groups and organizations who are on the ground doing the hands-on work of getting aid to people.

There are many good organizations doing rescue and aid work in the area. Here are a few Catholic aid organizations who have appealed for help and are on the ground helping those affected by the earthquake:

Catholic Relief Services

From the CRS web site:

Catholic Relief Services will support emergency relief efforts led by local partners in both Syria and Turkey with Caritas Turkey, Caritas Syria in Aleppo and Lattakia—where extensive damage has been reported—and other local partners. Already in Turkey, Caritas Anatolia, in coordination with authorities, is bringing displaced people to safe, open spaces and distributing hot meals and clothing. The dioceses of Izmir and Istanbul are collecting donations to send to the Anatolia Region.  

You can donate to CRS’s efforts here.

Catholic Near East Association

From CNEWA’s web site:

Even though we at CNEWA are accustomed to tragedies and emergencies, we are not immune to their toll,” said Msgr. Vaccari. “We ask for your prayers of support and consolation for the victims of this horror, your prayers for those who have lost their lives and those who mourn them.

Please be generous in this emergency campaign,” he concluded. “Your generous support helps us to help victims of this earthquake experience healing and rebuild their lives.”

Donations to CNEWA can be made here.

Aid to the Church in Need

ACN helps support local Church partners who help those suffering the affects of natural disasters. They are currently in dialogue with their project partners and will soon confirm an aid package which will focus on two key areas: providing blankets, food, and essential aid for those who’ve been forced out of their homes, and repairs in Aleppo such as to water and heating systems, and structural damage.

From the ACN web site:

Ongoing UN aid to north-west Syria, which was being routed via Turkey, has been temporarily halted due to road damage and other logistical issues caused by the earthquakes.

While disputes over who has oversight of aid into rebel-held areas of northern Syria have hampered efforts to get international help into the region, Churches have been among local bodies leading the response to the crisis.

To donate to ACN, visit here.

Malteser International Americas

Malteser International Americas (MIA), the US affiliate of Malteser International, is currently providing emergency relief services for the victims of the earthquake.

MIA is the humanitarian relief arm of the Order of Malta, a lay Catholic order with a history of over 900 years of service for the most vulnerable. Their core focus areas are emergency relief, health, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), as well as food nutrition and security. Globally, MIA provides emergency relief and humanitarian aid through 140 programs in 35 countries.

Donations to MIA can be made here.

Aid to the Church in NeedCatholic Church
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