"We constantly worry, we are always on edge." Perceptions of the earthquake response in Türkiye

Ground Truth Solutions
Publication language
Date published
29 Aug 2023
Ground Truth Solutions
Case study
Earthquakes, Recovery and Resillience, Response and recovery

The two earthquakes which struck southern Türkiye and northwest Syria on 6 February 2023 have had devastating consequences. In Türkiye alone, over 50,000 people have died and a further 100,000 have been injured.1 The damage to buildings and key infrastructure has left millions displaced and resulted in widespread disruption to supply and services. The affected area spans a wide and diverse environment made up of 11 provinces. Türkiye also hosts the largest refugee population in the world, and over 1.7 million of the 14 million people registered in the most impacted provinces are refugees, the majority of whom are Syrians living under temporary protection status. The Government of Türkiye has led the response to the earthquakes, which is coordinated through the Presidency of Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC). The national response has been informed by the National Disaster Response Plan, initially drafted in 2014, and revised in 2022, which sets out responsibilities, mandates and activities for all emergencies in Türkiye.2 Local actors have been at the forefront of the response, including local authorities, Turkish NGOs, local civil society organisations, and advocacy groups. The international humanitarian community supported the government in providing immediate assistance to the affected population. OCHA’s flash appeal, which ended on 24 May 2023, was underpinned by three key considerations: ensuring the response was as local as possible and as international as necessary; upholding a people-centred approach that included mainstreaming protection, enhancing accountability to affected people, and ensuring sensitivity to vulnerabilities; and utilising cash and voucher assistance wherever feasible