How to Help Earthquake Victims

How to Help Earthquake Victims

**Information Updated as of February 13, 2023**

In situations where the damage and devastation are unimaginable, it is hard to know how to help. The American Coalition for Syria (ACS) compiled some options that you can do from your home or local community. No action is too small, and together we can make a difference. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Summary of the situation

In the early hours of February 6, 2023, a series of earthquakes hit southern Turkey, with magnitudes ranging up to 7.8. The earthquake was felt hundreds of miles away from the epicenter, and in the immediate aftermath, buildings collapsed throughout southern Turkey and northwest Syria, killing more than 34,000. The death toll is expected to rise dramatically as the window for a successful search and rescue narrows. Northwestern Syria was already decimated by years of bombing by the Assad regime and Russia and it is host to millions of internally displaced Syrians, many of whom have once again lost their homes.

Key points

  1. Right now, the priority is search and rescue operations. We need emergency aid, equipment, and personnel delivered to victims in northwestern Syria through any available avenues. We ask that the United States government increase its support for the White Helmets’ operations, including the delivery of fuel and spare parts for frontline rescue.

  2. The tragedy will be long-lasting, and many are now without shelter. We ask that the United States and any available international partners help coordinate the delivery of shelter assistance, winterization kits, and medical assistance to those who have lost their homes.

  3. Areas in northwestern Syria have long been a target of military and aerial bombardment campaigns by the Assad regime. The Assad regime and Russia have also isolated the NW from international aid. Many have suggested that lifting sanctions on the Assad regime would help. This is a false narrative. For years, the regime has weaponized aid, blocking the delivery of crucial assistance to these populations. This has led to a decimated civilian and medical infrastructure that is ill-equipped to respond to the hardest hit areas from the earthquake. Rewarding the regime for years of war crimes will not help earthquake victims.

What should I do?

  1. Hold a vigil in your local community. Invite friends and family to your house, park, place of worship, or other community space, and light a candle in memory of the victims. Take a picture and tag us on social media, so we can let those on the ground know you are thinking of them.

  1. Follow us on social media for timely updates.
    1. IG: @acsyria
    2. FB: 
    3. Twitter: @acsyria

  2. Donate to our list of vetted humanitarian and relief organizations that are working on the response.
    1. Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
    2. Syrian Forum USA
    3. MedGlobal
    4. Syria Relief and Development (SRD)
    5. Rahma Worldwide
    6. Swasia Charity Foundation
    7. NuDay Syria
    8. White Helmets
    9. IMANA
    10. Molham Volunteering Team
    11. Atlantic Humanitarian Relief
    12. ARCS
    13. Mercy Without Limits
    14. Multifaith Alliance MFA
    15. Sunrise USA 
    16. American Relief Fund
  3. Donate to our advocacy and grassroots efforts and support the work of the Syrian American Council (SAC)

  4. Share this content and our key points with your friends, family, and community.

  5. Commemorate the lives of those lost. If you are a faith-based organization, please hold a special prayer in support of the victims, and encourage your congregations to support our work.

What are we doing?

  1. Less than 24 hrs after the initial earthquake, we gathered United States government officials in a briefing with Raed Saleh, Chief of the White Helmets, on the immediate aftermath and needs in northern Syria.

  2. ACS joined Syrian Forum USA on a community call to update on our work in the first 24hrs response. We have also provided frequent updates to the community through social media and our dedicated ACS Announcements Channel.

  3. We have established a webpage for our Earthquake Crisis Response Center

  4. The Syrian American Council, the grassroots advocacy organization of ACS, launched a Congressional Action Alert less than 24 hrs into the crisis, asking Congressional Representatives and Senators to speak out about the humanitarian crisis caused by the earthquake. In addition, we are urging the U.S. government to send emergency aid and support to Turkey and the White Helmets in northwest Syria. Working in parallel, our Government Relations and Policy teams have been in contact with offices on the hill to provide information.