Providing Long-Term Support to Earthquake Survivors in Türkiye and Syria
Washington, DC (2 August 2023) – As we near the six-month anniversary of the day two deadly earthquakes claimed the lives of over 60,000 people and displaced millions more in Türkiye and Syria, Project HOPE continues supporting those whose lives have been impacted by the devastation. As part of a commitment to the localization of humanitarian aid, Project HOPE has been partnering with local organizations in Türkiye and northwest Syria, in addition to establishing an office in Gaziantep to provide long-term support to those affected by the resulting humanitarian crisis.
“August 6th marks six months to the day that changed everything for the people of Türkiye and Syria and, while we have made progress to stabilize and support the affected communities, the needs are staggering and the road to recovery will be very long,” said Nezahat Yildirim, Project HOPE’s Senior Programs and External Relations Manager in Türkiye. “I will never forget the initial days after the earthquakes as we desperately conducted search and rescue operations and distributed supplies, but I am emboldened by Project HOPE’s dedication to staying in the region as we address both the short- and long-term needs of the survivors.”
In an effort to strengthen access to health care, Project HOPE has focused on equipping the local health infrastructure through the delivery of medicines and medical supplies, including mobility devices, infant incubators, oxygen cylinders, and bedside monitors. In northwest Syria, Project HOPE launched two Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) through our local partner, Syrian Relief and Development (SRD), to provide basic primary health consultations to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community (HC) members, including reproductive and pediatric healthcare services, mental health support, and referral services for patients needing an advanced level of care. The MMUs have provided over 8,000 consultations to date.
“These mobile medical units have been a crucial lifeline to meet the immediate health needs of people in northwest Syria in the days, weeks, and months following the devastating earthquake in early February,” said Project HOPE’s Türkiye Country Director, Adam Jacovou. “Because of them, Project HOPE and our partner Syrian Relief and Development, have been able to provide essential medical care to those that need it the most, when they needed it the most, bringing hope to a community that has experienced exceptional trauma and loss.” Moving forward, Project HOPE will support two primary healthcare centers in the region.
With 2.6 million people still living in tents and informal settlements in Türkiye alone, Project HOPE continues to support the health needs of displaced communities who remain susceptible to extreme temperatures, increased risk of infectious diseases due to overcrowding, and a lack of proper water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access. In the initial days and weeks following the disaster, Project HOPE provided displaced communities with over 15,000 hygiene kits. To address the need to house health workers who’d lost their homes in the earthquakes, Project HOPE procured 70 housing containers to provide shelter and essential services for local hospital staff, including kitchen and laundry access. To ensure the provision of clean water in health facilities and informal settlements in rural areas without access to clean water, Project HOPE has worked to deliver 50 solar water chlorination systems in to provide clean drinking water for nearly 42,050 people across 50 villages.
Additionally, Project HOPE has been focused on addressing the mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) needs among survivors dealing with the impacts of trauma, implementing MHPSS programs on both sides of the Türkiye-Syria border. Project HOPE is supporting the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and Young Lives Foundation (Genç Hayat Foundation) in Türkiye, and Sened Dernegi (Sened) in Northwest Syria in their efforts to provide MHPSS and protection services – including holistic health support and child safe spaces – to people as they try to rebuild their lives.
Project HOPE will continue to support and identify local partners to deliver essential services to address the health and humanitarian needs of impacted communities across Türkiye and northwest Syria.
Interviews with members of Project HOPE’s emergency response team – including staff on-the-ground – are available upon request. Photos and b-roll are available here. View Project HOPE’s latest situation report here.
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.