Dear CCAS Community,
The earthquake on February 6 left people in Turkey and Syria hungry, thirsty, cold, without shelter and scared. As many of you have reached out to ask how you can help, a group of us at Georgetown (staff, alums, students, faculty) put together the following list of suggestions. As we hear of other action items or organizations supporting the earthquake victims, we will post them here.
If you know anyone in the region (remember that neighboring countries were impacted as well), or anyone who has relatives there, call or text to check on them. People are often stronger when they feel supported.
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and Syrian Forum USA are two organizations that are doing extremely important work and providing immediate help on the ground. We encourage you to do your own research on these organizations and to consider giving—at whatever level you are able. Every amount helps! You can read more about SAMS and the Syrian Forum below. Additional organizations that have been suggested to us are Basmeh Zeitooneh and Bridge to Turkiye Earthquake Relief Fund.
The Syrian American Medical Society. SAMS is a global medical relief organization that is working on the frontlines of crisis relief in Syria and beyond to save lives and alleviate suffering. Please see the attached flier on needed aid. A MAAS alumna who works for SAMS shared the following with us:
“SAMS employs over 1,700 health workers and operates a network of 40 primary health clinics, mobile clinics, hospitals, MHPSS and physical rehabilitation facilities in northern Syria. In Gaziantep and Kilis, we also have three MHPSS and physical rehabilitation facilities. Since the earthquakes struck, eight of our hospitals in Syria have worked 24/7, and had reported treating 1,729 earthquake survivors as of early 9 February. Tragically, we have also witnessed 270 patient deaths as a result of the earthquake, while our staff are also grappling with loss of their loved ones and their homes. Five of our facilities have sustained quite significant damage, forcing three to close completely and evacuate patients to nearby facilities. As of 9 February, we were able to get shipments of essential medications and supplies into Syria from Turkey, and we hope this access will only increase in the days to come. With so many people exposed to the winter weather, lacking adequate shelter, we are also preparing for surges in communicable disease – respiratory diseases, and potentially more cholera.
In Syria, aside from rehabilitation needs (structural repairs to buildings, replacement and repair of medical equipment), and more immediate needs like beds, blankets, medications, and supplies, we have a critical need for fuel – not only for hospital generators, but for ambulances as well. We are also working to establish additional mobile clinics with teams of psychosocial support workers that can reach parts of rural Idlib and Aleppo.”
Syrian Forum USA is an organization providing direct humanitarian aid to displaced Syrians. One of our CCAS faculty is in direct contact with the board of Syrian Forum and can attest to their work and effectiveness. They are providing blankets, winter clothes, materials for shelter, and heating supplies.
Add this statement to the tail of your email signature:
Our thoughts and hearts are with those affected by the earthquakes and their aftermath in Turkey and Syria. We encourage our community to respond to this disaster as “people for others” and help whatever ways possible. Consider donating to SAMS [OR put the link here of a charity of your choosing].