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Irish Emergency Alliance

Irish humanitarian organisations unite for emergency earthquake appeal

Trócaire is part of the Irish Emergency Alliance which is jointly raising funds to provide life-saving support in Syria and Turkey

Child's photo amid rubble of a destroyed building in Aleppo. Photo: Plan International Child's photo amid rubble of a destroyed building in Aleppo. Photo: Plan International

A group of leading Irish humanitarian organisations have launched a joint-appeal calling on the Irish public to help support people impacted by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Irish Emergency Alliance members Trócaire, Action Aid, Christian Aid, Plan International, Tearfund and World Vision Ireland, are responding to the crisis by fundraising to provide food, water, blankets, hygiene kits and shelter.

Irish Emergency Alliance Executive Director, Brian Casey, said: “This is a time for concerted, united action. The impacts of these earthquakes has been devastating. In the midst of an already harsh winter, vulnerable children, families and others have been shaken to the core by the devastating earthquakes which have killed thousands in Northern Syria and Southern Turkey.

“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. By joining forces we can work in a really effective way to get aid where it’s needed most.”

Trócaire CEO, Caoimhe de Barra, spoke of impacts on the ground and the difference that donations can make on the ground:

“Peoples’ lives have been decimated, with the current death toll standing at over 16,000 people. The level of injury and loss on top of the loss of life is hard to process. Thousands of buildings, including hospitals and schools, have collapsed and infrastructure has been badly damaged.

“The Irish Emergency Alliance member-NGOs and their local partners have been amongst the first responders, working with locally-led relief efforts. It’s vital that we keep receiving donations so that we can provide support and goods where our teams on the ground advise the needs are most acute.

“Immediate priorities are 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, and ensuring people have food and clean water. Our teams are also providing vital hygiene kits to help desperate families to stay healthy.”

World Vision Ireland CEO, Gillian Barnett, said she and her team were deeply committed to working together with the other agencies:

“These earthquakes have killed thousands of people. Countless homes have been destroyed, leaving children, families and others devastated. Add to that the harsh winter conditions and the fact that people in Syria have already been suffering the effects of 12 years of civil war. I speak for my colleagues in every agency working together here, when I say we are humbled and honoured to be doing what we can to offer some relief in this catastrophic situation.

“People need help now and there’s no time to waste. World Vision has teams working directly on the ground in Syria and Turkey. Working with the other agencies puts us in a position to get vital funding to all our teams and partner organisations who are working around the clock at this harrowing time.”

Rosamond Bennett, Christian Aid Ireland’s Chief Executive, said: “The vast majority of people in northwest Syria are already in desperate need of aid after years of conflict. Again and again the public dig deep to help people in their time of need but every penny makes a huge difference to support people rebuild their lives.”

You can donate here or call 1800 939 979.

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