On February 6th, Southern Turkey and Syria were hit by two strong earthquakes that caused 52,000 deaths and 122,000 injuries, and forced nearly two million people to live in temporary shelters. “The earthquake has caused a difficult if not dramatic situation – explains Giulia Longo, operator of the Caritas network in Turkey – Weeks after the earthquakes, the emergency is not over.” Interventions continue in the area. The Caritas network in Turkey, in collaboration with CELIM, provides 400 meals a day in Iskenderun and 2,200 in Antioch. Tent building material kits, as well as blankets, clothes, and school supplies have been delivered to 5,500 people (2,000 families). Ten thousand people have been provided with hygiene materials and diapers, and 1,500 people with medicine.

“For local boys and girls – notes Giulia – the need to continue studying is primary. For this reason, we offer them educational support activities in spaces of the diocese that have not collapsed and have been secured after the main earthquakes. Every day we host about forty children who, followed by teachers, continue literacy and are helped with homework.” Hospitality also continues. About twenty people still live in tents in the diocese of Iskenderun. In Mersin, outside the earthquake area, some displaced persons are welcomed and offered food, clothing, and educational assistance for their children.

“We fear – concludes Giulia – that the emergency will continue for the next months if not for the next few years. In addition to immediate interventions, we are therefore planning our long-term interventions to respond to housing, food, and education needs of children. However, we need everyone’s help to support our activities”.

To support interventions in Turkey, CELIM has launched a fundraising campaign. Click here