Following the devastating news from Turkey and Syria after the February 6th earthquake, Brink is eager to do what we can to support. Below, we've highlighted organisations that we work with who are currently asking for support or launching appeals. If you know of other ways to contribute positively, please let us know.
Through our partnership with Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge we work with many organisations supporting Syria. A lot of those we work with live in Gaziantep, Turkey, close to the epicenter of the earthquake. Gaziantep is a real hub of humanitarian innovation; so much so that late last year, Humanitarian Grand Challenge supported an innovator meet up there.
This makes this particularly devastating, as the responders themselves are facing a crisis. We've heard from innovators we are in contact with, that they are sleeping in cars and in shelters, and it’s crowded and cold.
Here, we've pulled together a list of Humanitarian Grand Challenges-supported organisations which have been able to launch emergency appeals.
- Syrian American Medical Association (SAMS): a global medical relief organization that is working on the front lines of crisis relief in Syria, … [providing] medical care and treatment to every patient in need. SAMS’ President Dr. Amjad Rass has said:
“Across our operational facilities, we’ve been receiving victims of the quake as they come into our hospitals while simultaneously working to guarantee the wellbeing of our over 1,700 staff in Syria, and 90 at the epicenter near Gaziantep, Turkey,”
- WATAN: a civil society organisation providing emergency humanitarian aid in the form of shelter, food and baby milk, and medical aid in the form of medical kits and equipment for Syrian doctors.
- UOSSM: provides medical relief and health care services to those affected by the crisis in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, since 2012. One of our greatest accomplishments has been the establishment and operation of the largest hospital in northern Syria. UOSSM focuses on: primary care, trauma care, and psycho-social support services, supporting clinics and hospitals with medicine, medical supplies and operating expenses and training, developing, and supporting medical practitioners caring for victims of war.
- Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HIHFAD) has been providing humanitarian aid in north-west Syria since 2012 through cross-sectoral interventions (Health, Protection, WASH, Food Security and Livelihood (FSL), Education and Shelter/NFI). HIHFAD employs 1088 in Syria and Turkey, with 1025 in Syria alone, 71% of whom have medical backgrounds. In the health sector, HIHFAD is active in 2 maternity/children's hospitals, 1 trauma and surgical hospital as well as general hospital and primary health care centres. They also run a supply chain management project supported by World Health Organization (WHO) to distribute kits and essential medicines to more than 100 institutions. Dr Hussam from Hand in Hand has told us:
"Most of us are safe and will spend this night in cars. [There's] huge damage in building [...] we lost many humanitarian workers from other NGOs and INGOs."
- The White Helmets / Syria Civil Defence: humanitarian volunteers who risk their lives to help anyone in need – regardless of their religion or politics. Known for their distinctive headwear, the rescue workers operate in the most dangerous place on earth and have saved more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.
- Sahaya Hazir (Field Ready): is a group of engineers, humanitarian aid and development sectors experts, who have been working in NW Syria and in Turkey since 2016. They made search and rescue equipment for the White Helmets, repaired medical devices in more than 80 health facilities and have developed shelter winterisation technologies using recycled plastic.
- Treatwounds.org, creators of PragmaVAC, use negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in the treatment of open wounds to promote wound healing. It has several benefits such as shortening healing time and preventing infectious complications, all without the need for an electricity supply.
All of the organisations we've mentioned here are either fully locally-run or have Turkish and Syrian staff. As with all disaster relief, remember #CashNotStuff is more effective.
As this is a fast-moving situation, things may change rapidly, so be sure to check with local organisations and news sources for the most up-to-date information.