A day after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Türkiye on the Syrian border on Feb. 6, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund allocated $35,000 to ACT Alliance, a group of 140 faith-based relief and development agencies, to support an urgent response in Syria. More than $88,825 in donations began flowing in to PWRDF.
PWRDF also participated in the Humanitarian Coalition appeal, with donations matched by the Government of Canada up to $10 million. The appeal raised more than $12 million.
The earthquake damage has been catastrophic. As of Feb. 24, the total death toll had reached more than 47,000. There are thousands of collapsed buildings, and 115 schools destroyed in Aleppo, Hama and Lattakia. Inclement winter weather has caused flooding in displacement camps.
PWRDF has allocated $5,000 to the Diocese of Jerusalem to provide food, water, clothing and medical supplies in northern Syria. Syria remains a challenging environment in which to provide support. Rescuers and aid agencies must deal with the long-term effects of the war, destruction of civilian infrastructure, economic collapse, explosive ordnance contamination, COVID-19, and one of the largest number of internally displaced people in the world.
On Feb. 13, the Middle East Council of Churches invited member churches in Aleppo to discuss coordinating a response. The Aleppo Church Leaders Committee agreed to establish an ecumenical Syria earthquake committee, along with a committee to deal with the safety of building structures.
This committee will assess the priorities of those who need help with housing and how to implement repairs. It will also distribute food and other items to existing shelters and look at ways of getting cash assistance to people.
The ACT Alliance has issued an appeal for Syria for earthquake response ($6 million) and ongoing resilience work ($5 million). There is a pledge of $3 million by the funding members so far.
Anglicans are being asked to keep the people affected by the earthquake in their prayers. Donations can be made online at pwrdf.org, by calling 416-822-9083 (or leave a message at 1-866-308-7973) or by cheque to PWRDF, 80 Hayden St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M4Y 3G2 and indicate Syria/Türkiye Earthquake in the memo field.
Submitted by PWRDF