FOCUS : SYRIA-TURKEY EARTHQUAKES’ AFTERMATH
On February the 6th, the quakes rocked Turkey and Syria. Those earthquakes were the region’s strongest in our lifetime and of the century. The earthquake has killed nearly 47,000 people, including 41,020 casualties in Turkey according to the latest official figures released on Sunday by Afad, the government relief agency. In Syria, the death toll has been put at 6,500¹ and the United Nations estimate that over 10,000 people have been injured all over Syria. However, the count is still more approximate than in Turkey. It is estimated that more than 5 million people will be affected and 300,000 will be targeted under emergency appeals. Those numbers are rising by the day. Children, elderly, people with disabilities as well as female-headed households or separated families will be, among others, the first targets because of their particular needs.
The toll of material damage caused by the earthquake is estimated at about 84,000 buildings and infrastructures. Those have collapsed, have been severely damaged or need to be destroyed².
It is certain that the lives of millions across Turkey and Syria changed forever. We lost many families and friends in Syria, in addition to our center in Kelleş, Turkey.
SB Overseas has always been there when needed since it began as a community effort back in 2011 in Brussels amongst concerned citizens intervening in the unfolding Middle Eastern humanitarian crisis. Over the years, SB Overseas has developed a range of sustainable projects both in Belgium and the Middle East: in Lebanon (Beirut, Saïda and Arsal) and in Turkey (Kelleş and Gaziantep), always in accordance with local needs. The latest news calls for appropriate urgent and rapid responses as well as long-term programs to help rebuild homes and small businesses.
SB Overseas’ Rapid Response
Emergency aid kits: On one hand, in collaboration with our partners in Turkey and Lebanon, we are delivering urgent aid to the quack’s victims, and on the other hand, through the motivation of our community in Belgium we are sending containers full of essential needs. In order to ensure a coordinated response and appropriate support to affected communities, we are closely and simultaneously in constant correspondence with our local partners and teams.
Temporary shelters in Syria for the survival of the earthquake
Temporary shelters and classrooms: Our efforts grow in involvement and impact by the minute. As it became increasingly obvious that we need to provide short term solutions by providing a safe environment for children and families. Our local partners and squads on site are mobilized to build emergency housing in order to shelter survivors especially with the current weather conditions. They are also establishing temporary classrooms to ensure that children are looked after and provided psychoeducational support during crises. We consider that securing people in shelters and protecting them in a safe hygienic environment are urgent high priorities in order to prevent diseases’ outbreaks in the upcoming period.
LONG-TERM PLAN : TO REBUILD & REHABILITATE
With the unfolding of the earthquake’s aftermath our efforts are evolving. Therefore, focusing on the development of sustainable long-term solutions and programs of reconstructions of homes, schools and the local economy. SB Overseas have launched two programmes to address the critical needs of those affected by the earthquakes, based on the recommendation of UN Economic Recovery after Natural Disasters.
psychological support for child earthquake survivors
Home away from home The earthquakes and its aftershocks have knocked down all types of buildings across the region that is home to millions of people and, according to the UN, more than 7 million children have been affected by the earthquakes and at the very least 270 schools have been damaged. Correspondingly and always in collaboration with our local and international partners we are raising funds and developing sustainable programs to rebuild and rehabilitate the partially destroyed homes and schools in North-West Syria and Turkey.
Photo of first camps after earthquake in Syria in collaboration with our local partners
Dafsha Helwa ; A nudge to rise again. A program developed to give a boost and to encourage local entrepreneurs (bakers, tailors, etc.) to rebuild their small businesses and provide a sustainable future. Most survivors have lost everything and are likely to need long term support, starting capital and targeted coaching in order to bounce back and recover from the current situation. A special focus should be on relaunching local businesses that are fundamental to every community’s basic needs such as bakery, butcher, pharmacy, local store, etc. We aim to create economic regeneration, foster economic self-sufficiency and therefore ensure local needs are met.
Your support and engagement with us will impact the lives of 1000 children and families.
¹. Source : UN
². Source Aljazeera
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