Many of us remember with heartache the deadly earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye on February 6, 2023, that killed over 55,000 people, and displaced over 15 million in both countries. 

Not long afterwards, Baptist World Aid launched an appeal to support our Christian Partners in this region, who were already helping families in Syria deal with the impact of a drawn-out civil war and economic crisis before the earthquake hit. 

We’re thankful for donations from supporters like you, eager to help and respond with generosity. Although there’s still plenty of work to do, here’s how you’ve helped families in Syria and Türkiye rebuild their lives so far, through the work of our Partners. 

Essential Care Packages In Syria 

In the aftermath of the earthquake, many families in Syria have fallen even further into poverty as they struggle to resume their livelihoods. To meet their needs, our Partner has extended their initial emergency response into longer-term assistance for those who are most vulnerable. 

Together, you helped 26,246 people in Syria impacted by the earthquake, including many children and people with disabilities. 

Fourteen churches and faith-based organisations have also delivered 4,200 food packages and 2,800 hygiene kits to families living in the Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, Homs, and Tartous governorates. They also equipped staff members and volunteers with counselling skills so they can provide one-on-one and group sessions, and identify those who require professional mental health services. 

Thanks to our supporters, Baptist World Aid is also working with another Partner in Syria that will provide 1,485 vulnerable people with food packages, essential items, and mental health sessions. This will help families further strengthen their resilience amidst ongoing hardships. 

Mental Health Support In Türkiye

One year on from the earthquake, over 761,000 people in Türkiye are still living in informal sites, with many experiencing trauma and poor mental health. Earthquake damage and injuries have also made it difficult for people to resume work to support their families. 

With your support, our Christian Partner has provided mental health support to 3,000 people affected by the earthquake. And they’ve provided 20,000 people with mental health awareness sessions, so they can care for their wellbeing and better support loved ones in tough times. 

You’ve also helped our Partner create ‘cash for work’ opportunities by running site improvement projects in settlements, such as digging drainage ditches. This has provided people with an opportunity to overcome their loss of income and meet their families’ needs. 

‘He Cares For Us Through His Church’ 

It’s inspiring to see churches in earthquake-affected areas show love to families in need. And as supporters and members of God’s global family, you’re a key part of this effort.  

Our Partners reported that the relief provided has brought stability for many vulnerable families. According to one community member from Aleppo, ‘the help we got in the past few months was really important for us, especially because of the tough times with the bad economy, low wages, and the earthquake aftermath. It changed things a lot for me and my family.’

One family of four, members of a church that worked with our Partner, also greatly benefited from the help they received. During the war they had lost their home and source of income, and when the earthquake struck, their temporary home was damaged. 

The church was already providing aid, and through our supporters, our Partner provided further assistance—food packages to nourish the family. The parents said that despite the difficulties, they now have the strength to endure.

‘What makes us persevere is our faith in the word of the Lord, that he is our shepherd, and he cares for us through his church.’ 

Ongoing Needs 

Vulnerable families in Türkiye are still struggling to meet their needs in the earthquake’s aftermath, especially those who have yet to move out of informal settlements. And Syria is still in crisis as inflation and high unemployment makes the cost of essentials unaffordable, pushing people further into poverty. With the help of supporters like you, our Partners and churches in the region are working hard to meet people’s needs.  

Please pray that: 

  • Vulnerable families in Türkiye and Syria would have access to food, shelter and healthcare, and that people would be able to earn an income; 
  • God would strengthen our Partners as they provide essential support for those who have been impacted by the earthquakes; 
  • Churches in the region would find comfort in God, and be a light as they serve others faithfully. 

Thank you for continuing to support our Partners around the world as they respond to disasters like the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. If you’d like to further support the work of our Partners and help families recover, you can do so here.  

Header image: Displaced Turkish families live in tents on a community tennis court. Photo credit: Medair/ Lucy Bamforth.