Day 5 After the Earthquake: Distributing Hot Food, Blankets and Cash AssistancePublished: Feb 10, 2023 Reading time: 4 minutes
In north-western Syria, we are distributing warm food, clothing and hygiene products to the victims of Monday's earthquake. We’ve already donated 50,000 litres of petrol to local authorities. In Türkiye, we are distributing blankets, clothing and financial assistance to local partners in cooperation with local representatives and NGOs. PIN’s SOS Earthquake Syria and Türkiye Emergency Appeal has raised more than 53 million crowns (€2 million) to date. We have over 500 employees on site protecting the most vulnerable groups of people against armed conflict in the region for many years. Now, those same employees have immediately started working on mitigating the effects of the horrific earthquake.
On the fifth day following a devastating earthquake that affected more than 13 million people and left more than 20,000 dead, People in Need's efforts to help the people of Syria and Türkiye continue unabated. In the freezing cold, many people are still sleeping in cars, on the streets or in makeshift shelters.
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In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, we donated 50,000 litres of diesel to local authorities in north-west Syria. The fuel was essential to run the heavy machinery needed to help clear away large pieces of debris, under which many people were trapped. The first 72 hours were crucial to ensuring the success of this type of rescue operation.
Currently, we are working on helping those who have lost their shelter due to the earthquake. "Our team has distributed 300 pieces of winter clothing to children and adults in two makeshift reception centres in the Syrian cities of Dana and Atareb. We will also start distributing cash to around 1,200 households there starting tomorrow. Each family will receive €140 to buy basic food items and hygiene products. For the most affected families, we’re also providing them with 1,500 packets of dried food, including food supplements for infants, totalling approximately 600,000 crowns (about €25,000). We are starting to distribute hot meals in canteens in the Syrian towns of Jendires and Azaz. We plan to distribute up to 800 portions a day there," says Wail Khazal, the Country Director for northwestern Syria.
We have purchased generators worth CZK 3.3 million (€139,000) for the newly established camps for people who have lost their homes. We delivered food worth CZK 180 000 (€7,500) to two canteens and have started distributing two meals a day to around 800 households. We’ve also delivered bread supplies to around 200 families who lost their homes due to the earthquake. We’ve delivered 1,200 basic aid packages containing tarpaulins, blankets and basic household equipment which our teams will begin distributing tomorrow.
We’re also continuing to deliver food to the 20,000 families in northern Syria who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the 12-year war. For 1,000 CZK (€40) we can buy a family a month's worth of food. We also provide families with stoves, a fuel allowance, repair tents, tarpaulin supplies, nails and ropes. We rehabilitate existing water and sanitation systems and support makeshift tent schools for children.
Expanding our aid in the coming days
Our team in Türkiye distributed blankets to the most vulnerable people in the affected areas together with our partners. We also donated 900,000 kroner to the Turkish Red Crescent to directly support those who lost their homes as a result of the earthquake.
In the coming days, People in Need plans to expand this assistance. Initially, we plan to significantly increase the scale of our Cash for Work programme - paying thousands of people who are helping to clear the debris caused by the earthquake. In Syria, we want to provide financial assistance to buy basic food and winterisation apparel for at least 30,000 families. We plan to provide the financial support necessary to fix up destroyed houses. We aim to rebuild schools, which we have been supporting in Syria for a long time. Finally, our agrarian team will continue to support local farmers so that they can replant their crops in spite of the damage from the natural disaster that has struck the country.
In Türkiye, working with our partners and local authorities, we plan to extend our support to the most affected people and communities in the coming days. Our teams will be distributing food vouchers, hygiene kits and other basic necessities on a larger scale. We are preparing a shipment of tarpaulins, tents and other missing equipment.