How you can help victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

More than 7000 people have been killed and tens of thousands are injured, missing and displaced after an earthquake and its aftershocks in Turkey and Syria.

The World Health Organisation has warned the death toll could end up exceeding 20,000 as rescue efforts continue in the freezing temperatures.

Governments around the world, including Australia, have deployed emergency aid teams and medical squads to affected areas.

Australia has pledged $10 million of aid, $7 million of which is to support the injured evacuate and to provide food, tents and blankets. The remaining $3 million will be given to Syria for shelter, clean water and sanitation.

How you can help

In Australia, community groups and aid organisations are running local collections to send help to the disaster zone.

Melbourne’s Turkish community rallied to help those affected in their homeland.

Volunteers (from left to right) Konur Alp Ozal, Bea Tercan, Fatih Ustun, Necmi Kul and Necmiye Kul at the collection centre in Campbellfield where donations are being stored for earthquake victims in Turkey. Credit:Eddie Jim for The Age

Necmi Kul, who owns Sultan Butcher in Campbellfield, and his wife Necmiye called Turkish NGO IHH and set up a shipping container behind their store to collect supplies.

They are collecting donations between 8am and 9pm, and aiming to get the containers freighted to Turkey by Monday.

Nearby, Sultan Halal Meats and Poultry is collecting blankets, tents and sleeping bags to be sent to Turkey.

They have three shipments of goods ready to be freighted overseas.

Volunteer Muhsine Eskici told The Age Turkish Airways had agreed to cover the costs of the goods being transported. However, as the airline doesn’t fly to Australia, he is now seeking support from an additional airline.

Donate to a charity

If you don’t have access to a local collection, there are also many national and international organisations organising assistance.

  • Save the Children is on the ground and accepting donations to Our Children’s Emergency Fund, which helps provide children and families with essentials to survive.
  • CARE is helping provide emergency aid, including food, shelter, water and other lifesaving supplies, to those affected by the earthquakes.
  • UNICEF teams are on the ground and accepting donations to help provide urgent assistance to children and families.
  • Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations donations go towards providing medical aid and humanitarian relief.

Before you donate money or goods, it’s important to check the operation is reputable. In Australia, the government’s Charity Register can be used to check if a charity is registered and to find details about its efforts.

If you suspect an organisation or individual is not reputable and is committing fraud, you can report it to ScamWatch, the ACCC or the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) .

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