Earthquake Medical Aid: Syria, Turkey

Project: Medical Aid for Earthquake Survivors in northern Syria and southeast Turkey

Refugee Protection International and Humanitarian Initiative Association (HIA)

Project Summary: Refugee Protection International and community-led partners are assisting over 21,093 earthquake survivors in Syria (Idlib, Aleppo regions) and Turkey (Kahramanmaras, Antakya, Reyhanli, Gaziantep regions). Some 4,735 persons are receiving medical support. This featured project with RPI’s Turkish-Syrian partner Humanitarian Initiative Association (HIA) organization builds on years of jointly supporting medical aid in war-torn northwest Syria, during HIA staff’s time at RPI’s former partner SIMRO. Since the 2023 earthquake, RPI and HIA, which implements onsite, are providing pharmaceuticals to survivors at 3 primary health care centers, replacing a damaged generator at 1 of these centers, and supporting temporary rent for volunteers whose housing was damaged by the earthquakes.

RPI continues to solicit financial and in-kind medical support to scale operations at 3 HIA-run primary health centers (PHCs) and 5 rapid response teams (RRTs) serving quake-affected communities. RPI is also scaling community management of acute malnutrition and IYCF counseling with one or more implementing partners. Pre-earthquake, RPI and onsite partner Orkide/IPV had assisted some 60,000 children under 5, pregnant and lactating women.

Background: Since the initial 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6th, 2023, over 50,000 civilians have died in Turkey and Syria, with millions in need of aid. In the first 2 weeks, 3,081 patients were seen by RPI partner HIA’s health workers in quake-affected areas of Idlib region, Syria, of which 89 lost their lives. The UN also supports HIA’s medical efforts, with RPI filling urgent gaps.

RPI is currently supporting pharmaceuticals to 3 HIA health centers and 1 new generator. RPI is also fundraising to help HIA’s rapid response teams provide psychosocial support, community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM), and counseling on infant and young child feeding (IYCF) to quake survivors.  RPI fully supported a 2-year CMAM and IYCF program in NW Syria with Turkish-Syrian nonprofit partner Orkide / IPV that assisted some 31,000 children and women per year in Syria’s informal tented camps and surrounding villages.

RPI worked with HIA management and key staff for years when they were at SIMRO. Key joint efforts included COVID-19 screening at Idlib’s key internal medicine hospital and moving underground the largest pediatric hospital in Idlib region, Syria to protect patients and medical workers from aerial bombing.

RPI and its grassroots partners in Antakya and Gaziantep, Turkey are assessing how to support Turkish medical facilities and scale community psychosocial support and mental health care to Turkish and Syrian survivors.


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