Turkey-Syria Earthquake: How Rotary is responding and how you can help

Turkey-Syria Earthquake: How Rotary is responding and how you can help

Following the series of earthquakes that have devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria, charities backed and partnered by Rotary are responding.

Rotary-backed charities are launching their responses to the earthquakes that have ravaged southern Turkey and northern Syria.

The first 7.8 magnitude quake struck near Gaziantep, Turkey in the early hours of 6th February followed by a 7.5 magnitude tremor hours later.

So far, over 33,000 people have lost their lives due to the earthquakes and thousands more have been left homeless in freezing weather.

More than 20,000 buildings have collapsed across both countries and officials are warning that 23 million people could be affected by the disaster across both countries.

Rescue efforts are taking place across vast areas but they are being hindered by the winter weather as well as the aftershocks from the earthquakes, with at least 243 aftershocks being recorded so far.

Rotary Disaster Recovery Trust Appeal

In help and support of our friends the Rotary Great Britain and Ireland Disaster Recovery Trust has launched the Turkey & Syria Disaster appeal.

Contributions received will help affected communities in Turkey & Syria once the rubble has been cleared.

If you would like to support* the Disaster Recovery Trust (charity number 1119688), you can:

  • Donate to the Turkey & Syria Disaster appeal via our GiveStar online payment option
  • Send a cheque – Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Disaster Recovery Trust, Kinwarton Road, Alcester, B49 6PB
  • Contact the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Finance department for bank transfer information

About the Disaster Recovery Trust

The Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Disaster Recovery Trust responds to the need for financial assistance and support following major disasters throughout the world.

The Trust works with Rotary clubs and their volunteers by providing funds for long term, sustainable projects that will help those communities to fight in the aftermath of disasters or prevent them in the future.

The trust is not providing immediate emergency help, as governments have promised help and there are a great number of charities better equipped to do so, but it’s there to help fund those that offer solutions once the immediate need has been met.

Over the last few years, the Donations Trust has collated funds for earthquakes in Italy, New Zealand and Nepal, flooding in the UK, Ireland and Pakistan as well as hurricanes in the Caribbean.

Apply for funding

Rotary clubs are eligible to apply for funding from the Disaster Recovery Trust to create and implement sustainable, community development projects for areas recently affected by disasters.

For more information on how to apply for funding, please visit the Disaster Recovery Trust page within My Rotary. Please note this area is only accessible to Rotary members.

Emergency responses


Shelterbox, Rotary’s global partner for Disaster Relief, are now accepting donations via their website to help those affected by the earthquake.

Their highly trained response teams have been working tirelessly in both Turkey and Syria to deliver aid to the regions affected by the earthquake.

The team in Turkey met with Rotary District Governors in Istanbul to discuss the logistical challenges of accessing the affected areas.

The Shelterbox response team with members of Rotary in Turkey.

Within Syria, access is even more challenging given the limited number of border crossings and damage to infrastructure.

Shelterbox are providing emergency tents, warm winter clothing and blankets as well as warm children’s clothing in northern Syria.

Rotarians have been working closely with the ShelterBox supply chain team to facilitate the movement of tents via a Turkish Airlines flight, provided free of charge, as part of efforts alongside the IFRC (The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) and Turkish Red Crescent.

Water Survival Box

Water Survival Box, a Rotary-backed charity, have been in touch with the Turkish and Syrian in-country teams of the International Medical Corps and the need for clean water solutions has been established.

They have now launched an urgent appeal with the target of raising ÂŁ150,000, enough for 1,000 of their standard Water Survival Boxes (WSBs).

Each box is designed to provide essential survival items for a family of five and, most importantly, the means of converting contaminated water into safe drinking water.

Online donations can be made via the Water Survival Box website and cheques can be made out to Water Survival Box Limited and sent to their registered address: Broadway House, Third Avenue, Westfield Industrial Estate, Midsomer Norton BA3 4XD.


Aquabox, a Rotary-backed charity originally established by Wirksworth Rotary Club, are working with their partners on the ground to evaluate the most effective way of getting both Family Filters and Community Filters to where lack of access to clean water is critical.

Their response team will have an initial consignment of 24 Aqua 12’s (288 Family filters) and 20 community filters ready for dispatch by the 17th February. They are continuing to work with their trusted partner in the region, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HIHAD), to establish a secure supply route, and have also been in contact with additional partners including FireAid and Rotary Disaster response teams in order to reach as many people as possible.

You can support Aquabox via their Justgiving page, or their website.

Disaster Aid UK & Ireland

Disaster Aid UK & Ireland, a project of the Rotary Club of Denton and Audenshaw, is also planning to launch an appeal  to raise funds to provide aid for the survivors of the earthquakes.

While operations are still in their search and rescue phase, Disaster Aid UK & Ireland will be taking advice from people in Turkey and Syria as to ways in which they can help.

Disaster Aid UK & Ireland uses it’s donations to send boxes and kits containing resources such as tools, cutlery, water filters and family-sized tents.

You can donate via their website or, to make a ÂŁ5 donation, text “DISASTER” to 70450.

*Please note that all donations are subject to a 2% administration charge to support the running of the trust, and in the event that no suitable project can be found within a period of five years, the donations will be transferred to the Disaster Recovery Trust’s General Fund.

Club fundraising materials

We know that Rotary clubs will be out in their communities hosting collections in support of earthquake victims. We have therefore created a set of resources which may assist you in those activities.