Devastating Earthquake Kills Over 2,000 People in Turkey and Syria, Mercy Corps Responding in Northwest Syria
Mercy Corps is deeply concerned at the deadly impacts of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that struck Turkey and Syria this morning. In impacted areas of Northwest Syria including Idlib, where Mercy Corps currently works, this latest crisis could worsen an already fragile humanitarian situation. 4.1 million people were already going hungry in Northwest Syria and food insecurity has worsened since the war in Ukraine started, with prices of essential food items spiking and shortages of staples in some communities.
Kieren Barnes, Mercy Corps' Country Director for Syria, says:
“I am devastated at news of the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria this morning. Media reports mention that over 2,000 people have died as search and rescue operations continue across the region. There are reports of widespread destruction in the area, and we expect numbers to rise in the coming hours and days.
“Mercy Corps is conducting rapid needs assessments and will be responding to the earthquake in Northwest Syria, and we are aiming at resuming our emergency water, sanitation and hygiene activities as soon as possible.
“Our colleagues in Northwest Syria reported that the situation is catastrophic, with the area affected by the earthquake being the center for over 1.8 million displaced Syrians who were already suffering after a decade of conflict in Syria. Already, 4.1 million people were going hungry in Northwest Syria and food insecurity has worsened since the war in Ukraine started, with prices of essential food items spiking and shortages of staples in some communities.”
Mercy Corps has been working in Syria since 2008, delivering emergency assistance and addressing longer-term needs both before and during the current crisis. In the Northwest, we have provided essential support including water, food, shelter, sanitation services, and livelihoods assistance to Syrians displaced multiple times throughout the course of the conflict.