Survivors continue to face major health and safety risks one month after Türkiye earthquakes

Emergencies, Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 06 Mar 2023

One month on from the earthquakes that struck Türkiye that killed over 45,000 people and destroyed thousands of buildings and major infrastructure, hundreds of thousands of families are still living in informal settlements where conditions are dire.

While staying in these settlements ensures families can remain close to their destroyed or damaged homes, there is little to no access to water and basic sanitation, shelter, and food. Women and children are affected disproportionately, with many fearing for their safety.

Oxfam spoke with one woman who gave birth in a tent and 10 days later, had still not received any medical support.

In an area with a population of 15.2 million, almost 2 million people have evacuated from earthquake-affected areas with government support or through their own means, straining the local economy and availability of safe housing across the country.

Those who remain have no recourse but to stay outside, fearing returning indoors due to continuing aftershocks that continue to damage homes and infrastructure. The areas affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye include a large Syrian refugee population, who have already endured displacement.

Oxfam KEDV in Türkiye is coordinating with a network of grassroots women’s organisations and cooperatives, volunteers, civil society actors, and public authorities to rapidly provide food, clean water, showers, hygiene products, and blankets, and to facilitate setting up shelters. With Oxfam KEDV, women’s cooperatives are operating community kitchens and providing food to people everyday. Oxfam KEDV is also initiating the repair of water reservoirs to ensure access to clean water and setting up of toilets and showers.

In the coming months, Oxfam KEDV intends to support 1.4 million people living in the areas most affected by the earthquake by providing access to food, restoring water systems, and supporting people’s livelihoods through training and financial support.

Australians can donate to Oxfam Australia’s Emergency Appeal here.

For interviews, contact Lucy Brown on 0478 190 099/