A little over a month ago, a powerful earthquake struck the border region between northern Syria and southeast Türkiye, causing widespread damage and loss of life. The initial tremor caused buildings to collapse, trapping people under the rubble and damaging infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and water and power lines.
The earthquake also caused widespread displacement, with many people fleeing their homes for fear of aftershocks or further collapses. Some set up makeshift shelters in public parks or other open spaces, while others sought refuge with relatives or friends in other parts of the country.
Syria’s ongoing war and economic collapse have already inflicted profound damage on the country’s population. Now, on top of these challenges, many people face displacement, loss of livelihoods, and the harsh conditions of winter survival.
PWS&D is responding through our partners at ACT Alliance. Since the quake, the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) has offered 232 sites as shelters in Aleppo, including church halls, mosques, schools and municipal halls.
“The experience of the earthquake was very hard for us. That’s why we were displaced because our house has cracks and we cannot return to it. Today we are living as guests in a relative’s house in the village of Ain Al-Ghara in Homs countryside. Despite their warm welcome, we feel that we are putting pressure on them, as we are all facing hard economic difficulties, and no one can take care of two families at the same time. The Middle East Council of Churches offered us blankets, and this was a nice gesture since no one had provided us with anything since a month when we were displaced,” explains a 42-year-old mother of two.
D, a 68-year-old retiree, shares, “The earthquake experience is unlike any other experience. Our house in Lattakia has many cracks, and we cannot return to it. We are at an age where it is difficult for us to re-establish a house again, especially since the economic situation in Syria is very difficult, and that’s why we are feeling helpless. The Middle East Council of Churches provided us blankets for each of my family members. I hope that the Council will continue to help us.”
As well as providing temporary shelter in with their buildings, MECC is providing much-needed mattresses, blankets, and hot meals to affected families and is working to secure additional supplies to meet their needs.
To support the response, click the button below, call 1-800-619-7301, mail a cheque to the office or give through your congregation. Indicate your donation is for “Syria-Türkiye Earthquake.”