Devastating earthquakes have hit Turkey and Syria this week killing more than 11,000 people. Buildings and infrastructure have been destroyed leaving survivors facing freezing conditions. People need help now.
People have been left without shelter in freezing winter conditions, with humanitarian needs expected to grow in the coming days. Access to clean water will likely be a challenge, bringing the risk of cholera and other diseases.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)* have launched an appeal to support those affected.
DEC charities and their local partners are responding, working with locally-led relief efforts. Immediate priorities are search and rescue, medical treatment for the injured, shelter for those who have lost their homes, heaters for safe spaces and winter kits with blankets, and warm clothes, as well as ensuring people have food and clean water.
We are calling for co-operatives from across the movement to back the appeal by asking colleagues, members and customers where possible to donate.
How you can support
- Make an online donation
- Text COOP to 70787 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus standard network rate. Your text will result in a £10 donation to the DEC Appeal. Visit dec.org.uk for full T&Cs
- If your co-op wants to promote the appeal to your members, colleagues and customers, we can share assets. Email [email protected] and we will be in touch
What else can we do?
The International Co-operative Working Group (ICWG) is also in touch with co-operatives and co-operative organisations on the ground in Turkey and Syria. This is to explore what support we might be able to offer in addition to the DEC Appeal.
Rose Marley, CEO of Co-operatives UK and Chair of the ICWG said:
"The devastation of the earthquakes in southern Turkey and north west Syria is incomprehensible. We urge the co-operative movement to take collective action to support the DEC Appeal. It's vital we get funds to people on the ground who can help those in need as quickly as possible. The ICWG is also in touch with co-operative networks in both countries to see how else we can add our support."
Like with SEWA in India, this is a powerful way for the movement to respond to these events, but it will take longer to understand what follow-up support might be needed.
As the events are so raw, with many areas currently dealing with the aftermath, it will take a while to get the information we need to act on.