A year ago, in February 2023, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Türkiye-Syria border. More than 50 000 people were killed and thousands of buildings, including schools and hospitals, collapsed in one of the biggest disasters to impact the region in recent times.
An EIB donation, through the EIB Institute (EIBI), to CARE Luxembourg provided water, shelter and food to more than 20 000 men, women and children exposed to unforgiving winter conditions.
In Türkiye, the donation reduced food insecurity by providing some 11 000 people (or 2 186 households) with shelters, clean and safe water, ready-to-eat rations as well as food vouchers.
In north-west Syria, this urgent humanitarian assistance made it possible to distribute to more than 9 000 people (1 947 households) multi-purpose cash assistance vouchers providing food baskets for close to two months, ensuring emergency water trucking for up to three months and emergency shelter or cash to buy tarpaulins and tents, as well as help with debris removal.
Special consideration was given to the most vulnerable: girls, women, elderly people and people with disabilities.
This assistance, developed in partnership with local NGO Takaful Al Sham, “played a crucial role for those who lost nearly everything: income, assets, home, stability and safety, due to the earthquake” writes CARE. It was “essential for fulfilling the immediate food and shelter needs as they transitioned to new communities.”
The earthquake struck as the humanitarian crisis in north-west Syria was already at the highest level since the war in Syria began, with 4.1 million people relying on humanitarian assistance to subsist.
The EIB Institute regularly provides disaster relief grants and donates decommissioned IT equipment from the EIB.
In 2023, through the Institute, the EIB also made donations to reputable humanitarian NGOs helping the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco in September.
Other donations helped cholera victims in Malawi and flood-hit communities in Slovenia as well as addressing the mental health and winter-related needs of the Karabakh Armenian children who have fled to Armenia following the military escalation in September 2023.
Picture: Shireen is from Jindires in the Afrin District in northern Aleppo. She and her brother lived with their parents in the town of Afrin and because of the damage to the house they lived in, they headed back to their village, only to find that their home there too was damaged by the earthquake. The family now lives in a tent that was offered by CARE’s local partners.