Today, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), committed an additional 50 million dollars in urgent humanitarian assistance to help earthquake-affected communities in Turkey and Syria during an international donors’ conference in Brussels, Belgium. The announcement comes nearly six weeks after the worst earthquakes in the region in nearly a century devastated communities in Turkey and Syria. More than 50,000 people have died, at least 3 million have lost their homes, and hundreds of thousands of buildings have been damaged or destroyed in both countries. Sarah Charles, the Assistant to the Administrator for USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, made today’s announcement, bringing total U.S. humanitarian assistance to support the earthquake response to 235 million dollars.
With this additional humanitarian assistance, USAID partners are expanding existing deliveries of food, relief items, shelter, safe water, and sanitation to reach millions in Turkey and Syria, as many affected people continue to live in temporary shelters and lack basic everyday necessities due to damage to their homes.
The newly announced funding is supporting USAID humanitarian partners in northwest and central Syria to scale up food assistance, emergency health services, shelter and relief commodities, and water and sanitation support to meet immediate needs of earthquake-affected communities. Partners are also providing child protection, gender-based violence prevention and response, and mental health and psychosocial support services to mitigate the impacts of trauma from the earthquakes. Additionally, in response to persistent food and nutrition needs, partners are distributing ready-to-eat rations, emergency nutrition support, and monthly food assistance sufficient to support 800,000 earthquake-affected people for six months.
In Turkey, this additional assistance, provided as part of the U.S. government’s response to the Turkish government's request for assistance, is supporting USAID humanitarian partners in addressing the most critical needs of earthquake-affected populations, particularly in hard-to-reach areas. This funding is helping partners to distribute urgent food assistance, multi-purpose cash assistance, and relief supplies, as well as to provide psychosocial support services and water, sanitation, and hygiene support as the emergency response transitions to address persistent needs.
USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) continues to lead the U.S. government’s emergency response for millions of people in Turkey and Syria. The United States is working closely with the Government of Turkey, the UN, NGO partner organizations, civil society organizations, and the private sector, as well as other global partners, and humanitarian organizations in Turkey and Syria to closely coordinate response efforts, report needs and conditions on the ground, and prioritize the delivery of assistance to the hardest-hit communities. The U.S. remains committed to supporting the people of Turkey and Syria by ensuring they receive the help they need as quickly as possible.
The United States commends the continued global outpouring of support. We welcome the contributions of other donors to date and encourage continued efforts to scale up assistance. For people who want to help partners reach affected communities with assistance effectively, cash is best to get people what they need. USAID encourages people to visit www.CIDI.or to find reputable organizations and donate accordingly.