How to Help Those Affected by the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Here are some tips for evaluating charitable organizations.

How to Help, Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

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On Monday, February 6, 2023, a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria. Nine hours later, a second earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.5, struck. While the current death toll is greater than 10,000, it’s likely the number is far higher because thousands of buildings were destroyed. 

Many survivors are currently sheltered in government dorms or hotels, but they have lost everything and are in dire need of having their basic needs met. While many of us feel helpless because we are so far removed geographically from these regions, there are organizations on the ground aiding with both immediate and long-term relief.

Donations of all amounts help, but before you make one, it's best to vet where your money is going (for any cause). A quick search on sites like Charity Navigator or Guidestar is the easiest way to do this. 

You can also search the Internal Revenue Service to find out if a charity is tax-exempt. If an organization based in the United States isn't or hasn’t yet applied for tax-exempt status, that’s a sign it could be a scam. Lastly, if an organization simply doesn't feel legit to you, it’s probably best to donate elsewhere.

Ready to help? Here are a few organizations aiding earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders gives medical assistance based solely on need regardless of political, religious, race, or gender affiliation. This organization sends doctors, nurses, and other first responders to help people affected by natural and human-made disasters. It's easy to donate with a direct link to help fund relief efforts for the current crisis. 

Syrian American Medical Society

With a 100 percent rating on Charity Navigator, 95 cents of every dollar donated in 2020 to the Syrian American Medical Society went directly into programs. This organization assists with medical care and relief in Syria helping to support more than 100 facilities and over 3,000 medical personnel. Donating is easy because both PayPal and Amazon Pay are accepted with an option to allocate funds to earthquake victims. 


UNICEF is currently on the front lines helping with many immediate needs including medical care, food, water, and winter clothing, as many victims fled their homes with just what they were wearing. Donate here and learn more about the work UNICEF is doing.

Turkish Red Crescent

Turkish Red Crescent is the largest humanitarian organization in Turkey. It is affiliated with the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement. According to the American Red Cross, Turkish Red Crescent teams are providing hot meals and drinks, collecting blood, and shipping it to impacted areas, as well as providing much-needed psychosocial support to victims. Donating to Turkish Red Crescent is slightly tricky because this international organization's website is in Turkish, but you can click "translate" and donate via their website.

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