Cologne/Gaziantep. One week after the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, aid organizations and local units continue to work around-the-clock to provide medical and relief supplies to the millions of people affected. Through local partner organizations in Syria, the distribution of tents, beds, blankets and food to people in need is already in progress.
While the first international rescue teams are starting to make their way home, humanitarian aid for the survivors - and oftentimes traumatized people - continues at high speed. “We are supporting our partner organizations on the ground with the procurement and distribution of relief supplies. Tents, generators, blankets, mattresses and food are currently needed the most. The injured, the sick, the elderly and children are in particular need of care and protection right now. Every euro is needed since there are so many people who are immensely affected” says Oliver Hochedez, Head of the Emergency Relief Department of Malteser International, who is coordinating the emergency relief for Türkiye and Syria from the Turkish border town of Kilis.
The affected area is nearly the size of Germany. Logistics are a major challenge, the extent of the destruction unimaginable. “There is also a great need in the supply of drinking water in sanitation facilities” Hochedez states.
In Syria, the situation is particularly precarious. Malteser international works in close cooperation with four partner organizations in northwestern Syria. Their activities focus mainly on the medical and psychological care for the people injured by the earthquake, as well as the local procurement of relief supplies in Syria. The supply of relief goods via the open border crossings of Bal al Hawa and Bab al Salam is also underway.
Malteser international currently supports six hospitals, one maternity clinic with children’s hospital as well as eight primary health care units in the regions of Idlib and North-Aleppo in northwestern Syria. The aid projects in the Syrian border region are coordinated from Türkiye. Malteser International has been involved with the region through humanitarian work since 2012. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a combined total of more than 20 million people are affected by the earthquake in both countries.
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Katharina Kiecol, Press Officer Malteser International, is available for interviews and sound bites in Kilis.
Operator: +49 (0)221 9822-7180, kathrin.muenker(at)malteser-international.org