Providing Support to Turkey & Syria Earthquake Relief Efforts

On Feb. 6, 2023, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck parts of Turkey and Syria.  As per a CNN live report from a week later, more than 36,000 people were killed and tens of thousands injured by the massive earthquake.

The following Channel grantees have long time partnerships in the earthquake-affected region and are involved in supporting the relief efforts.  Several Channel partners have been trying to raise awareness about the need for humanitarian responses to focus on getting resources directly to locally-led efforts and to ensure that women, girls and marginalized communities, who are disproportionately impacted by disasters, are viewed as central to relief and recovery efforts.

The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) started a fundraising appeal in order to support the urgent humanitarian needs of its partners in the earthquake-affected region and the communities they serve.  ICAN’s partners in the region are all women-led peacebuilding organizations, and members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) which ICAN coordinates.  They include the Center for Civil Society and Democracy (CCSD), DARB Syria, Hope Revival, Kareemat, Mobaderoon, and Zenobia Syrian Women’s Association.

ICAN writes that their “colleagues in these organizations have dedicated their lives to helping war-affected families refugeed in Turkey and communities inside Syria. Many are themselves Syrian refugees who have already been displaced by the conflict. Once again, their lives have been shattered.”  ICAN is raising funds to help them with safe shelter, blankets, food, water, and medicine, especially in hard-to-reach areas.  Across the WASL network ICAN is also mobilizing in-kind support, including trauma counseling.

Since the earthquake, Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) has been in contact with their partner in Turkey, Kadın Emeğini Değerlendirme Vakfı (KEDV Turkiye) or the Foundation in Support of Women’s Work, who work with networks of 80 women’s cooperatives in the most affected regions. KEDV works with local institutions to facilitate community reconstruction after disasters that utilizes the skills and leadership of women in the affected communities and protects their rights.  WLP writes that if you would like to support KEDV in the wake of this disaster you can donate directly here on their website.

WLP also maintains a website of resources for Turkish activists.

The Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR) has launched an emergency fundraising campaign to deliver emergency support to 20 locally based groups in and around Turkey providing lifesaving support and protecting the rights of marginalized people affected by the disaster.  The activists working with these grantees serve communities who face systemic injustice and are often overlooked, including migrants and refugees.  FGHR writes that 100% of donations to this campaign will directly help 20 local human rights groups ensuring that marginalized people receive equal resources for survival and rebuilding.

Global Fund for Women (GFW) are providing crisis grants to their partners in Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon, ensuring they have resources in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, and also in the medium- and long-term.  Donations to GFW’s Crisis Fund can be made here.

The Global Resilience Fund (GRF)/Purposeful is currently making some emergency rapid response grants to young women-led, trans youth, and girl-centered groups who are directly impacted by and responding to the earthquake in Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon.  GRF published a blog post on Nov. 7, 2022, that laid out their thoughts about the need for change in the sector: Feminist Humanitarian Response: an approach to dismantle the humanitarian-industrial complex.  They wrote, “as crises continue to compound and grow, girls and young feminists – who are disproportionately impacted by crises – are leading powerful frontline emergency response efforts while advancing systemic change.”  The blog post “dive[s] into a deeper exploration of the organizing principles of feminists’ humanitarian response efforts and share some examples…a call to action we cannot afford to ignore.”

VOICE Amplified and the Feminist Humanitarian Network have more resources on the question of a feminist intervention in the humanitarian sector.

Photo credit: Rami Al Sayed, Getty Images