Just over 2 months ago, a devastating earthquake struck Turkey and Syria. Causing significant damage and loss of life, many buildings in the region have either been destroyed or damaged. Aftershocks were felt for several days across the region following the initial quake.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, Christian organisation Baptist World Aid has been actively providing relief to those affected. They have been working alongside partner churches in the area, where millions of people are now facing the harsh reality of homelessness.
Hannah Moeda is the National Engagement Manager for Baptist World Aid, and she recently joined us on 20Twenty to share an update on how victims are coping with the impact of the earthquake. On the back of years of civil war and displacement, this has been a difficult time for the people of Turkey and Syria.
Damage to Infrastructure
‘With approximately 50,000 people killed,’ says Hannah, ‘it’s whole families dealing with this. There’s also a lot of trauma thinking about being able to go back into buildings and trust that they won’t fall down. It’s really horrendous on that level.’
With so much damage to infrastructure like schools, there’s a whole generation of children who are missing out on their education. Trying to go into temporary structures and teach in those areas is a very significant problem.
‘The slowness of the recovery is something that we all have to deal with,’ says Hannah. ‘We’re going to get there, but it will take time. And we have to think longevity with this type of recovery as well. It’s a heartbreaking concept to think about how long it will take.’
Christian Agencies Come Together
Numerous Christian agencies have come together to offer their assistance and provide relief to those affected by the disaster. Alongside Baptist World Aid, other organisations such as World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse and the Red Cross have been working together to support the victims.
These agencies have been actively participating in search and rescue operations, setting up emergency shelters, and distributing aid to those in need. Their collective efforts have undoubtedly made a significant impact on the lives of those affected by this disaster, demonstrating the power of unity and compassion in times of crisis.
‘If we’re able to receive more funding in situations like this,’ says Hannah, ‘what we can do is think long term. What about the recovery? How do we make sure that people who are traumatised receive proper counselling in order to get on with their lives?’
‘We need to provide all of the things that people need on a daily basis in order to continue moving forward.’