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The Current State of Turkey-Syria Earthquake Relief Efforts

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The Turkey-Syria earthquake has 36,000 confirmed fatalities as of writing. The epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which took place last February 6 was in Pazarcik, a town located in the southeastern side of Kahramanmaras, a province in TĂŒrkiye, formerly known as Turkey.

Setac Kayara / Reuters

Many structures came crumbling down, and Turkish authorities issued over 100 arrest warrants in connection with substandard building construction. Most of these were specifically for the contractors who are associated with the destroyed properties.

In times of tragedy, the innate human nature of helping others who have experienced a grave misfortune such as this becomes more pronounced. White House spokesperson John Kirby announced last February 10 that The United States is increasing its aid for Turkey and Syria. USAID Disaster Assistance and Response Team has already arrived in TĂŒrkiye, and almost 200 operatives adept at search and rescue missions are supporting the Turkish rescue operation in Adana, a major city at the southern end of TĂŒrkiye which is one of the most affected by the earthquake.

Save the Children website

Save the Children, the first global children’s movement which fights for children’s rights, is one of the reputable charitable organizations where one can course his/her donations to. This is their specific page with detailed information on the earthquake and how you can donate through them: 

They emphasized that the earthquake which has impacted both TĂŒrkiye and Syria “is one of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in 100 years.” You can donate to ‘The Children’s Emergency Fund’ which allows them to “respond to crises around the world, whether from conflict, climate change or natural disaster, with the minimum amount of $50 via Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, Paypal, and Google Pay.

CharityWatch and Charity Navigator

Of course, donations require maximum scrutiny because there are many fake organizations, too. Groups like CharityWatch and Charity Navigator, as mentioned in an Al Jazeera article, has databases as well as ratings for a good number of charitable institutions.

UNICEF, another non-profit organization which prioritizes children, is concerned about “thousands of children at risk in aftermath of destruction”. This is their page focusing on the earthquake: https://www.unicef.org/emergencies/Syria-Turkiye-earthquake. The three donation amounts are: Php1000 (can contribute to provide emergency tents for spaces), Php1500 (can provide families with emergency water and hygiene kits), and Php3500 (can provide school supplies to keep children in school even in emergencies). This is a donation channel convenient for Filipinos as it offers transfer methods such as Gcash and Cebuanna Lhuillier, along with online banking, over-the-counter/ATM payment, Paypal, and credit/debit card.

Yonhap News Agency / Reuters

These are the options: Php750 (can provide core relief items including winter clothing to families affected by the earthquake), Php1500 (can provide shelter kits including tents and bed linen sets to families affected by the earthquake), and Php1500 (can provide electrical heating appliance and stove to affected families to sustain a warm home especially during winter).

As reported in ’24 Oras’, a Filipino news broadcasting show of GMA Network, the “Pinoy in Ankara Community” spearheaded a relief effort as early as Feb. 8, two days after the earthquake struck. The donation drive focusing on gathering used clothes especially those which are used during winter, as well as easily cookable food items, which were requested by the victims.

Martin Romualdez Facebook page

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez recalled how Turkey was among the countries who first responded to the disaster brought aboout by Typhoon Haiyan aka Yolanda in 2013. A financial of $100,000 will be given by the Philippine government to erathquake victims in Turkey via the House of Representatives Speaker’s Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Initiative.

Firas Makdesi / Reuters

Meanwhile, 82 Filipino search and rescue volunteers have been deployed to Turkey and are already occupied witht the “Hasty Search” operations in Adiyaman. This swift and specialized undertaking involved covering as much area as possible and focusing on finding signs of life there.

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Reuters taken by Umit Bektas

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