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#6: How to help with earthquake relief efforts
A message of solidarity, resources, and a call to keep momentum going
We’ve woken up to yet another barrage of gut-wrenching images, videos and stories coming out of the Turkey-Syria border. And frankly, it is hard to know exactly what to do from afar when disasters like this happen.
Today, we’re interrupting our regular schedule with some resources, information on what we can do to help, and a call to keep talking about the humanitarian crisis as the region rebuilds — because efforts could take years. Next week, we will resume SWANA speaks as usual in a conversation with the artist Katayoun Jalilipour on their creative work and queerness in Iran’s Qajar dynasty.
Below are some ideas for where to donate. There are many more amazing organisations on hand to help — just be sure to look into them first. It sounds simple, but donating to a charity positioned to help with this emergency is crucial, and so is checking up on that charity and where their money goes. Also, money for earthquake relief will be needed for months and even years to come, so if you can’t afford to donate now, you can always do so further down the line (or if you’re in the position to do so, may consider setting up rolling donations).
👉 The Council on Foundations has compiled this list of recommended organisations including local groups working on the ground
👉 Disasters Emergency Committee - 15 aid charities have come together to respond to the earthquake. The UK government will match pound-for-pound up to £5 million in donations
👉 Syria’s White Helmets - formed during the Syrian Civil War, this group of volunteers respond to humanitarian crises in Syria
👉 Zahra Trust - is a UK-based Islamic charity delivering aid to the region
👉 Syrian American Medical Society - are looking for donations for aid to deliver emergency care and to purchase trauma supplies
👉 International Rescue Committee - a charity working to help refugees from humanitarian crises rebuild their lives, they are active in Syria
👉 Global Giving - a nonprofit connecting other nonprofits to donors, the funds will support long-term rebuilding
👉 The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) - leading efforts on the ground (via the Syria Arab Red Crescent and Turkish Red Cross)
Volunteering and supplies
Experts suggest that donating money is the best course of action when an earthquake hits. This allows money to be infused into the local economies of regions affected, and for responders to adapt flexibly to changing needs on the ground. However, if you have skills that are useful and are connected with recognised aid agencies, or if you are nearby, volunteering could be an option. Here are some suggestions:
👉 The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) — they launched an appeal for money, supplies (including tents and blankets) as well as first aid respondents and people who can perform medical evaluations
👉 Donate blood to the Turkish Red Crescent if you are in Turkey right now
👉 Consulates and local student groups are organising donation drives, refer to your local groups as a first port of call for giving items
👉 Volunteers in Dubai needed to pack relief boxes
(just be aware that there are distressing videos and images in some of the below).
👉 Mapping the damage (NY Times)
👉 Register for this online event on how to support long-term recovery in Syria (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)
👉 Why this happened (in geographic terms) (The Conversation)
👉 Why humanitarian assistance is necessary (The Brookings Institution)
👉 How the earthquake may deepen divides in Syria (Center for Strategic and International Studies)
👉 How the disaster is compounded by corruption and occupation (The Canary)
👉 The impact of the Syrian war (The Guardian)
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