On 6th February 2023 a devastating earthquake struck southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria, causing widespread damage and tens of thousands of fatalities.
Thanks to the generosity of those who faithfully support Bishops’ Appeal with donations and legacies, an emergency grant of €10,000 was released immediately to Christian Aid working with partners on the ground in the affected areas, and an appeal launched to all our parishes for further support.
There was a wonderfully generous response to the appeal and a total of €249,520.65 and £19,216.08 has been sent to Christian Aid from Bishops’ Appeal, with a further grant of €10,000 sent to Tearfund Ireland for their work in the area.
Christian Aid has sent an update on their ongoing work which you can read here which focuses mainly on the situation in Syria. Much of focus of their work has now moved from emergency response into more longer-term development – supporting education, healthcare, and working with engineers to strengthen existing buildings such as schools against future shocks.
In Turkey, the money was spent on meeting immediate needs in the aftermath of the earthquake, and in addition, Christian Aid’s local partner gave 1,000 families affected in the Gaziantep area (in southern Turkey) with cash for Eid-ul-Fitr, so they could have the money they needed to buy food, clothes and some gifts for their children – maintaining important family, religious and cultural traditions. They also organised an Eid festival for more than 130 vulnerable children and some of their mothers with fun activities to mark the end of Ramadan. For communities who are displaced or in a time of crisis, observing religious or cultural holidays can be an important way of increasing individuals’ resilience and respecting priorities – specifically by offering children opportunities to receive care, play, and minimize disruption after an emergency.
A big thank you to all parishes and individuals who gave so generously to support the Turkey/Syria Earthquake appeal, and also to those who have given legacies and other donations which enable Bishops’ Appeal to make immediate donations in the face of emergencies like this.