Malteser International's (MI) emergency relief team has been sent to the region to coordinate with our local partners to provide urgent support, especially in the refugee areas in the north of Syria where hundreds of thousands of people are living in simple shelters and are now defenseless after the earthquake. Temperatures in the region are currently freezing and it is raining extensively. In the hospitals where we work, the number of injured earthquake victims is increasing by the hour.
On the 6th of February, 2023 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the area of Southern Turkey/Northern Syria followed by at least 125 aftershocks. As of the 8th of Feb, more than 11,100 casualties have been registered and over 50 thousand injured in both Turkey and Syria. The death toll is likely to increase as many people are still trapped under the rubble. According to the WHO, 23 million people are affected and over 10,000 households and thousands of state infrastructures have been destroyed.
Malteser International has dispatched our emergency relief experts to Turkey and is on site. Current activities include initial emergency relief efforts, coordination with other organizations and an assessment and procurement of aid materials. With our program teams already in NW Syria we are providing first aid in our medical facilities, supplying blankets, mattresses, hot meals, and we have deployed mobile medical clinics, food trucks and relief goods from our teams on the ground in Lebanon.
Malteser International has a long term commitment to the region and has been supporting various projects for Syrian refugees in Turkiye since 2012 as well as health facilities and refugee camps in the region of Idlib in northwest Syria. Direct entry into Syria is currently not possible for aid organizations. We are implementing aid for the people in northwestern Syria with long-standing local partner organizations and the local government agencies who will continue.
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