From the Church

Church-supported organizations in Türkiye and Syria continue to help children, families after earthquake

Linda, a NuDay volunter who was also impacted by the devastating earthquakes in February 2023, delivers food to a young boy as part of the relief effort of NuDay and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Photo credit: NuDay

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to collaborate with several nongovernmental organizations to provide relief to earthquake victims in Türkiye and northern Syria. It is estimated that more than 50,000 people were killed when magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes struck the area on Monday, February 6, 2023.

Even before the earthquakes, 2.8 million people in Northwest Syria were internally displaced by wars in the region, and 90% of the population was already dependent on humanitarian aid for survival. The powerful earthquakes have only exposed more people to the elements and left them without means to obtain food, medical care and clean water.

One of the first organizations on the ground to help earthquake victims was NuDay, a group the Church has often worked with. Early on, NuDay’s teams jumped into action to help with evacuations and to support temporary shelters for those who lost their homes. Local teams helped those displaced with clothing, bedding and winter supplies. NuDay also worked rapidly to procure and distribute medical supplies to local medical facilities that were overwhelmed with wounded patients.

“With the support of [the Church], we distributed food baskets, meals and infant formula — all of which continue to be in high need,” said Huda Alawa, director of development at NuDay. “Now we are working together to develop long-term recovery plans, such as repairing infrastructure, supporting households and rebuilding livelihoods so that the future of Syria can find hope once again.”

One 4-year-old boy, Hassan, was buried in his collapsed building for 40 hours. NuDay’s teams worked alongside the Syria Civil Defence team, known as the White Helmets, to evacuate the boy to a medical facility, where he received treatment. Hassan lost his entire family—his parents and three sisters—in the earthquake, but he is recovering and continuing to receive assistance.

Three sisters, Muna, Rua'a, and Jana, stand outside their makeshift shelter in Darkoush, Syria, to receive food support provided by NuDay Syria and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Photo credit: NuDay

Eleven-year-old Muna and her younger sisters, Rua’a and Jana, lost their home, but their family survived. They were moved into a makeshift shelter with many other displaced families. Their daily meals had consisted of boiled potato sandwiches, so they were overjoyed to receive additional food support from NuDay and the Church.

Amal, 6 years old, had already suffered with her family from food insecurity brought on by the many years of conflict in Syria before their home was destroyed by the earthquake. When she received food from NuDay and the Church, she said, “If it weren’t for you, my siblings and I would have gone to bed hungry.”

Read more on Church Newsroom.

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