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Integral Launches New Disaster Response Alert for the Türkiye / Northern Syria Earthquake

Integral has launched a Disaster Response for the devastating earthquakes in southeast Türkiye and northern Syria. Currently 20 Integral Members are responding to this humanitarian crisis.[1]


Aleppo, Syria 7th February 2023
© Medair/Lisanne van der Schors

As the scale of the devastation from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday 6th February continues to unfold, the World Health Organization has warned the number of casualties could exceed 20,000. Initial rescue efforts were stalled by a second quake on Monday that measured 7.7 magnitude. It is estimated that 23 million people, including 1.4 million children, are likely to be affected.

Aftershocks, freezing temperatures and damaged roads are hampering efforts to reach and rescue those affected. The death toll currently stands at more than 11,200 and the number of fatalities and those injured is expected to rise further in the coming days. [Source here]. Urgent help is needed to provide shelter and heating, food and non-food items like blankets, sleeping mats and warm clothing, as well as medical assistance to the many thousands who have been injured.

Noor Maaz, Medair’s Syria Emergency Response Team Lead, reports from Aleppo in Syria: “We visited some damaged buildings and saw a lot of people in the streets and in the parks. They had no shelter, they had nothing. We went to a school and people were sitting on the desks – some of the windows were broken and there was no protection from the cold. They told us that they’ve lost everything they own, that they are hungry and cold. People are very afraid to return to homes; those that weren’t destroyed are not safe … Yesterday people were in the parks with nothing, and it was in the rain. And still, the children were playing. We really need help.”

Integral Members are responding to the impact of the earthquakes both through direct operations and trusted Partners. The sharing of communications resources across the alliance will enable fundraising campaigns to be launched and the support of each other’s work.

Isabelle Duval, Director of Programmes at SEL, raised an Integral Alert for this disaster, which triggers gathering Integral Members together. She says, “Communities affected by war, a food crisis and in the middle of a cold winter are now facing the effect of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. It’s a lot to take in for the affected communities and we hope and pray that Integral Members and their local Partners can bring timely and efficient relief on the ground. Being able to share information and coordinate, within the Integral Alliance, in the early stage of the response is really valuable for us.”

In the initial stages of an Integral response, calls are held as frequently as necessary, so that Members can share information in the critical phase when needs are acute. The Integral online platform enables Members to share photos and stories, response plans and funding needs.

[1]Cedar Fund (Hong Kong), Food for the Hungry (USA & Canada), Integra (Slovakia), International Health Partners (UK), Medair (Switzerland), Medical Teams Int (USA), Mission East (Denmark), SEL France, Tearfund Belgium, Tearfund Canada, Tearfund Ireland, Tearfund (Netherlands), Tearfund (New Zealand), Tearfund Switzerland, Tearfund (UK), Transform Aid (Australia), World Concern (USA), World Relief (USA), World Renew (USA & Canada), ZOA (Netherland)