IDES shared an update this week of how it is working to provide aid and help relieve suffering in Syria and Turkey resulting from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck on Feb. 6. The quake’s death toll now exceeds 50,000. Additionally, an estimated 2.2 million people have been displaced, with 1.9 million living in temporary shelters.
The Christian disaster response ministry sent international project managers to the affected areas and has provided aid to more than 20,000 people. It has been working through two partners in Turkey and one in Syria.
Of course, Syria has been involved in a nearly decade-long civil war which makes it difficult for aid agencies to provide assistance, especially in rebel-controlled areas. However, by the grace of God, house churches in the area have provided an avenue for help and hope. Through a partnership, IDES was able to provide heating oil, blankets, clothes, and food for victims, constituting immediate relief for an especially marginalized group.
In Turkey, the international project managers’ rapid deployment proved valuable in quickly assessing needs about the best ways to help. Through this insight, IDES was able to provide two fully equipped mobile kitchens (serving more than 15,000 hot meals per month), food, and hundreds of hygiene kits.
The ministry also helped repair a local bakery equipped with ingredients to provide 1,200 loaves of bread each day for a Turkish community. IDES also provided a 10-kilowatt generator, wood for the bakery’s oven, and 25 tons of bottled water. IDES also has distributed food, water, medicine, hygiene supplies, clothing, and generators in five cities in Turkey.
IDES is working with a mission partner and several local churches to purchase necessary items from within Turkey—blankets, food, water, personal hygiene items, clothing—for distribution to people in need, since the nation’s government still seizes aid that arrives from other countries.
“This earthquake will require years of repairs and rebuilding in order for people to restore their lives,” IDES shared in a release. “Yet in the darkest of times, the gospel of Jesus has been able to shine through.”
IDES said the aid it provides displays the tangible love of God . . . but that more assistance is needed. In addition to continued donations, IDES asks that supporters continue to pray for physical relief, recovery for families, that outside donations will be allowed to pour into the affected areas unhindered, and that the gospel will spread.
Learn more about IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service).