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Support Women Leaders to Respond to the Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria

On February 6, 2023, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Türkiye and northwest Syria set off a cascade of more than 2,100 aftershocks, some nearly as powerful as the main quake. Hardest hit are the more than 4.1 million displaced Syrians living in the northwest of the country or as refugees in Türkiye.

Vital Voices is disseminating rapid grants to on-the-ground women-led organizations who are providing emergency response to this highly vulnerable group – and who know best how to help their decimated communities.

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But we need your help. Because there are three factors that set this disaster apart from similar crises – three factors that make your support for our efforts both urgent and critical: 

  1. Local women leaders can help better than anyone else. Local women leaders are best placed to identify gaps in aid. They’re best positioned to help those most affected in their communities, and best equipped to assist a vulnerable population that is majority women and girls. Women leaders understand better than anyone else the need to prioritize key items like feminine hygiene kits, baby formula, and diapers.
  2. Most of the displaced people in northwestern Syria and Türkiye are pro-democracy survivors of merciless political persecution. For having the courage to support a movement for freedom and democracy that began with the Arab Spring of 2011, they were forced from their homes by the Syrian regime and its Russian allies. In the northwest, they have survived bombings, chemical weapons attacks, and starvation sieges. These are people who have been besieged by their own government and feel they’ve been abandoned by the international community.
  3. There’s a breakdown in national and international aid. Syrian refugees in Türkiye can’t always look to the government for assistance, with opposition to refugee populations on the rise and an election looming. Meanwhile, the Syrian government has little interest in sending assistance to the northwestern provinces it is actively attacking, and sufficient international aid has not gotten through to the region.

It’s up to us to empower local women-led organizations to step in where international efforts have failed. Your gift will enable Vital Voices to support women leaders who provide critical aid to their communities and directly assist women, girls, and those most impacted on the ground.

Vital Voices is supporting the following women-led organizations:

  • Basmeh and Zeitoona Relief & Development: A refugee-led organization providing support in Syria and Turkey. B&Z was founded in 2012 and has been servicing those impacted by the Syrian conflict in Lebanon, Turkey and Syria and their host communities.  
  • International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA): Also working in Northwest Syria as well as Türkiye, INARA provides rapid emergency response support, among other services, to children affected by conflict.  
  • Karam Foundation: The agency has more than a decade of experience supporting Syrian refugees, particularly youth, with operations in in Hatay, Türkiye and Northwest Syria.  
  • We Need to Talk Association (Konusmamaz Gerek Dernegi): The Turkish-based organization works to alleviate period poverty and reduce stigma related to menstruation.  
  • Syria Relief and Development: Since 2011, the organization has operated humanitarian aid projects for Syrians that address the most urgent aid needs in Southern Türkiye and Northwestern Syria.