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02.09.2023

Emergency Response Teams Working Around the Clock in Response to the Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria

There have already been reports of more than 17,000 people killed, and tens of thousands injured, including over 3,000 in Syria, a country wrecked by more than 11 years of civil war.

Washington, DC (9 February 2023) – The global health and humanitarian aid organization Project HOPE continues to work around the clock to assist recovery efforts and address the health care needs of those affected by the deadly earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria on Monday.  

Project HOPE staff are among those assisting survivors emerging from the rubble, and the group deployed a K-9 search and rescue team in collaboration with regional partners.  

“At this stage of the response, with temperatures falling below freezing, every minute counts, and we are hopeful that our K-9 unit will succeed in locating and recovering survivors,” said Dr. Vlatko Uzevski, Project HOPE’s Emergency Response Coordinator, who is currently in Gaziantep, Türkiye, the earthquakes’ epicenter. “Currently, we are coordinating with the shelters that are housing those who have lost their homes and assessing the long- and short-term health care needs, including the mental health needs, of the tens of thousands of people that have been injured.”  

Photos and videos are available here for media use with proper attribution. 

Because of the earthquake’s devastation, health facilities and health access have been severely impacted, and some 15 hospitals have reportedly “buckled.” To address these concerns, Project HOPE’s logistics teams are also coordinating the shipment and distribution of emergency health kits and medical supplies to the affected areas.  

 “We are preparing for an arduous road ahead that will require a coordinated, robust and sustained international response to get the impacted communities back on their feet,” said Arlan Fuller, Project HOPE’s Director of Emergency Response and Preparedness. “A disaster of this scale has a massive impact on the local health systems, in terms of loss of staff, facilities, and equipment, diminishing the ability to respond to the immediate needs of survivors and the capacity to address future primary care needs.”  

There have already been reports of more than 17,000 people killed, and tens of thousands injured, including over 3,000 in Syria, a country wrecked by more than 11 years of civil war. The death tolls in both countries are expected to rise as search and rescue efforts continue. Learn more about Project HOPE’s response to the Türkiye-Syria earthquakes here

Project HOPE first started providing medical support in Türkiye in 1987 and has responded to previous crises there including the 1999 earthquake and Syrian refugee response in 2013-2015.

Interviews with emergency response experts available upon request. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact: Courtney Ridgway at media@ProjectHOPE.org.  

About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leading global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries around the world. We work side-by-side with local health systems to save lives and improve health. Our mission is at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health, and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information on Project HOPE and its work around the world, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on Twitter @ProjectHOPEorg

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