On February 6, 2023 Turkey and Syria were hit by two earthquakes close to magnitude eight; according to the latest data, more than 50,000 people have died, and millions have been left homeless.
The earthquake has destroyed people's homes and local infrastructure, with families needing shelter, clothing, food, medicine, generators, and more. Harsh winter conditions prevail in the region, which makes rescue work difficult and puts the victims in an even more vulnerable state.
Estonian Refugee Council, in cooperation with the Estonian IT logistics company GoSwift, whose subsidiary is located in Turkey, responds to the crisis operationally by delivering food, clothes, battery banks, medical supplies, and other things to the victims according to their (changing) needs.
Turkey has taken in the largest number of Syrian refugees globally. In 2016 we started a humanitarian aid programme in the city of Reyhanlı together with our local implementing partner UOSSM. The project supports refugee children with special needs through providing psychosocial services like counselling and therapy, both in individual and group settings. In addition, we send to Turkey three Estonian volunteers specializing in children with special needs. The project is financed by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.