6 MONTH UPDATE: On February 6th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the southern part of Turkey and northern Syria, killing more than 55,000 people. ActionAid has reached more than 100,000 people in Syria with life-saving humanitarian assistance. The earthquake also left more than 2.3 million women and girls without access to proper healthcare, making them especially vulnerable. ActionAid has responded by funding a hospital that has provided 5,000 women and girls with urgent medical care.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the southern part of Turkey, about 20 miles from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital just across the border from Syria. The quake's epicenter was roughly 11 miles deep and strong aftershocks were felt as far as Cyprus, Egypt, and Lebanon. A tsunami warning has been issued by authorities along the country's coast.
ActionAid has been working in Syria for almost thirty years alongside local partners, and with Syrian refugees in Turkey since 2011. Through our work, we have been providing psychosocial support to children and equipping women with leadership skills in disaster preparedness. We have activated our strong infrastructure to mount a response that provides lifesaving assistance to communities through the distribution of food and non-food essential items, support, and shelter.
Amid the chaos of the of the first days following the disaster, our partner was among the first to respond. We are uniquely placed, through our women- and young people-led human rights-based approach, to make a distinct contribution in the response to this emergency, prioritizing highly vulnerable groups, including refugees, female-headed households, and people with disabilities in the long-term. We will continue to share updates on our immediate and long-term response as aftershocks continue.