SIX MONTHS after the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling for urgent support to affected communities still reeling from the impacts of the disaster.

Although recovery efforts are well underway, the earthquakes have had an immeasurable impact, leading to the loss of thousands of lives and affecting millions more.

“We have seen astounding resilience in communities, but people still find themselves stuck in a very difficult situation”, said Ruben Cano, IFRC Head of Delegation in Türkiye. “Many people in Türkiye – particularly those who lost their homes and income – are still struggling with their day-to-day needs, including paying for food, rent and other necessities. A ‘normal’ life is still far from reach.”

Many people are falling deeper into debt to help cover their needs while they recover and build back income sources. More than 50 per cent of families supported by the IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent are taking on new debts after the earthquakes as the country battles inflation and a drastic increase in prices.

In Syria, the reality for many people is even more dire – the earthquake’s impact, coupled with 12 years of conflict, has rendered recovery exceedingly challenging. The economic situation continues to push already vulnerable communities deeper into hardship and uncertainty.

“The rescue phase of the earthquake response may have concluded, but the emergency situation persists”, said Mads Brinch Hansen, IFRC Head of Delegation in Syria. “Immediate international support is needed right now, both to meet immediate humanitarian needs, as well as to build people’s resilience and rehabilitate vital infrastructure and community services, which are on the brink of collapse.”

The IFRC, together with the Turkish Red Crescent and Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has been at the very heart of this response since day one. Teams have been providing immediate relief to affected communities, including food, water, shelter, healthcare and mental health and psychosocial support. Financial support through cash and vouchers is helping many families recover as best they can, as is support for rebuilding businesses and opportunities for income.

The IFRC launched two Emergency Appeals, one for Türkiye and one for Syria, totalling CHF 500 million. There is still a funding gap of 74 per cent in Türkiye and 56 per cent in Syria. Further support and funding are urgently needed to make a significant impact on the lives of those affected and empower individuals to rebuild their lives and contribute to their local economies in both Syria and Türkiye in the long term.

* More information on the operation in Türkiye here.

* More information on the operation in Syria here.

* Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies