World Vision New Zealand launches appeal to help those affected by Türkiye-Syria quake.

08 Feb 2023 by World Vision
World Vision New Zealand launches appeal to help those affected by Türkiye-Syria quake.

World Vision New Zealand has launched an appeal to provide urgent supplies to children and families as the toll of the devastating Türkiye-Syria earthquake continues to mount.

Teams on the ground are assessing the escalating needs and providing emergency aid following the 7.8 magnitude quake which has killed thousands, with many more thousands injured.

The World Health Organisation has warned that the death toll may rise to more than 20,000.

World Vision New Zealand National Director Grant Bayldon says the full scale of the emergency is only just becoming clear and people affected desperately need help.

“Catastrophic does not fully encompass what is happening in Syria and Türkiye right now. Thousands are dead, thousands are trapped in the rubble, mums, dads, children. They have lost family members and their homes. They have been left with nothing.”

The earthquake has hit families who were already displaced in a region shattered by more than a decade of civil war.

“People are again fleeing for their lives and are desperate for shelter from the cold,” Bayldon says. “We are seeing families desperately trying to find a place to go. They are living in cars, mosques are full. These are families already displaced by a civil war who are now homeless again.”

World Vision teams are assessing the impact and starting to deliver emergency aid to those worst affected.

Bayldon says World Vision is well-positioned to help having worked in the region since the civil war erupted in Syria in 2011. The humanitarian organisation has responded to numerous major earthquakes around the globe and has a team of experts trained and ready to deliver urgent assistance.

“World Vision has done this before – and we know what to do. Thankfully, we already have teams and partner organisations in Türkiye and Syria so we're able to respond swiftly. We’re scaling up our operations to provide shelter, heat sources and food to those left with nothing.”

World Vision’s immediate areas of response will cover Gaziantep and Sanliurfa in Türkiye, as well as Azaz, Afrin and Idlib, in Northern Syria. 

Bayldon says World Vision is calling on New Zealanders to once again show their compassion and generosity.

“We know that New Zealanders understand the devastation an earthquake can bring. We’ve had our own experiences right here at home.

“There is going to be an overwhelming need for food, shelter, heating, medical care and water in the coming days and weeks in Türkiye and Syria. The generosity and compassion from Kiwis will help provide this emergency aid and support long-term recovery for families who have lost everything,” he says.