On February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria. Thousands of aftershocks were recorded in the region, followed by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake just three weeks later. More than 48,000 deaths in both countries have been reported, while 185,000 buildings in Turkey collapsed or experienced severe damage.1
Over 1.9 million people in Turkey and 500,000 Syrians are in need of temporary shelter, including more than 850,000 children. The damage to homes and water infrastructure has placed children at greater risk of exposure to waterborne illnesses such as cholera and Hepatitis A, while over 350,000 pregnant women cannot access healthcare and daily necessities.2 The lack of adequate shelter, sanitation, and healthcare presents an impending health crisis in the region.
In response, The WASH Foundation, an evolution of Clean the World Foundation partnered with Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) to ship and distribute hygiene supplies to those people affected by the earthquakes. In all, we donated 17,000 hygiene kits; 30,000 bars of soap; and 6,500 bottles of shower gel. The hygiene items will be distributed directly into the hands that need them most by GEM’s on-the-ground team. We are grateful for this partnership and continued effort as we help those affected by this devastating disaster stay healthy during this time of recovery.
We thank all the individuals and organizations that made donations to our earthquake relief efforts. Your help made it possible for us to get much-needed hygiene items into the hands of vulnerable earthquake survivors.