How to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria
Following a deadly 7.8 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks that devastated Turkey and Syria, rescuers continued to work tirelessly to find any victims still trapped in the rubble.
The death toll rose to more than 35,000 in the week since the Feb. 6 quake. Tens of thousands have been left homeless.
Organizations across the globe have already mobilized to send aid to both countries, but humanitarian groups warn that the earthquake will have a "long tail" — a wide range of needs that will require donations for months, or even years, after the rescue and recovery missions end.
Humanitarian access to Syria is complicated by the civil war, and the political environment in Turkey also poses challenges
READ MORE: Watch: Rescuers pull child from rubble 89 hours after Turkey earthquake
If you want to help, these groups are taking donations:
Red Crescent (Turkey and Syria)
Workers with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent SARC receive relief supplies donated by the Chinese community in Syria, in Damascus, capital of Syria, Feb. 12, 2023. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua via Getty Images)
The Red Crescent, which is part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), provides emergency services, food, and medical aid to countries in crisis.
The societies said 5,200 volunteers are mobilized on both sides of the border, with the Turkish operation being more robust and better-equipped because of its longstanding program to support Syrian refugees.
Donations can be made to Turkey’s Red Crescent organization via bank transfer.
Amazon has pledged $600,000 to humanitarian organizations, part of which is being distributed to Red Crescent of Türkiye.
And volunteers are welcome to help Red Crescent responders in several locations in Syria, listed here.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
This aid group was already in place because of Syria’s 12-year civil war.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) had 500 staff, two of whom were among those killed, stationed in northern Syria, where they’ve helped meet medical needs amid the conflict.
"We were able to do a massive distribution of food and blankets to more than 500 families," from one of their warehouses in the immediate aftermath of the quake, said Avril Benoît, executive director for MSF USA. Her organization keeps emergency supplies on hand in the case of major disasters.
As of Thursday, MSF had $5.1 million come in from online donations along with a 10 million euros ($10.7 million) donation from the IKEA Foundation.
RELATED: Turkey arrests building contractors for shoddy construction after deadly earthquake
Syrian American Medical Society
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) provides significant medical services in northern Syria and said their supplies in the region are much depleted and need new shipments to continue to help.
SAMS had raised almost $2 million between a Facebook fundraiser and another on GiveSmart as of Friday.
The humanitarian organization Direct Relief has also granted $100,000 to SAMS.
Learn more and donate here to SAMS.
AKUT, a Turkish search and rescue team
AKUT is a Turkish search and rescue team.
It has also received a $100,000 grant from the humanitarian organization Direct Relief. Amazon has pledged $600,000 to humanitarian organizations, part of which is also being distributed to AKUT.
READ MORE: Earthquake that devastated Turkey, Syria created massive ruptures in the Earth’s surface, photos show
The humanitarian organization based in Santa Barbara, California has already committed at least $3 million in aid. The organization has also already shipped 42 pallets of supplies.
Thomas Tighe, who leads Direct Relief, said his team has opened discussions with health care companies to source the medications and supplies that are mostly likely to be needed based on the limited information available and in coordination with other groups.
Global Giving is a nonprofit organization that connects other nonprofits, such as those helping in relief efforts during natural disasters, with donors and companies, according to the website.
To donate, click here.
An emergency relief fund has been created to help the victims in both Syria and Turkey on UNICEF’s website.
More ways to donate
Save the Children
Jewish Federation of North America
Humanity and Inclusion
This story was reported from Los Angeles and Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.