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Turkey-Syria Earthquake Aftermath: How Nurses Can Help

Joelle Y. Jean, FNP-C, BSN, RN
Updated February 10, 2023
    On Monday morning, February 6, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria. More than 10,000 people were killed and thousands were injured. Nurses, find out how you can volunteer, donate, and spread the word.
    Credit: Burak Kara / Stringer / Getty Images

    On Monday morning, February 6, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria. Nine hours later, a second quake was recorded at a magnitude of 7.5. The earthquake is reported to have killed more than 10,000 people, with thousands more injured.

    The earthquake is one of the strongest to hit the region in over 100 years. It is also one of the deadliest in the world in over a decade, according to the Associated Press. To add to the devastation, millions of displaced Syrians are in Idlib province, which is in the northwestern part of Syria. Many already live in critical conditions like makeshift camps and government housing, where building structures are weak from past bombings.

    Hospitals and clinics are overflowing with injured patients—a scene nurses know far too well after experiencing a surge of patients during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Globally, people are wondering how to help the victims and family members affected by the earthquake. U.S. nurses are also looking for ways to expand their role to help during this disaster. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, and spread the word.

    How Nurses Can Volunteer in Turkey

    There are many individual teams of volunteers mobilizing to go to Turkey, and surrounding countries are offering support. If you find an opportunity to volunteer or donate, be sure the organizations are valid.

    Romania’s Health Ministry is seeking doctors and nurses who wish to volunteer for healthcare teams going to Turkey. They will travel to the affected areas to help victims of the earthquake. You can fill out their form. The Ministry also launched a blood donation campaign for those injured in the earthquake. The website also lists blood drives that are local to the region.

    If you choose to volunteer, you can expect to perform duties, including:

    • Conducting evacuations
    • Administering first aid
    • Managing field kitchens
    • Tracing contacts

    Risks are involved, such as safety in the area and housing. Make sure to inquire about risks during the recruitment process.

    15 Places Nurses Can Donate to Support Those Impacted by the Turkey-Syria Earthquake

    The following list are places nurses can donate to support those impacted by the Turkey and Syria earthquake.

    Action Against Hunger

    Action Against Hunger is a nonprofit organization to end hunger in our lifetime. The organization has been in Syria since 2008. They are already distributing food, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Ninety-one percent of donations will help those in need.

    American Red Cross International Services

    The American Red Cross International Services‘ mission is to help save lives. They have millions of volunteers on the ground helping during disasters. They also help deliver international aid. Donations will go to disaster relief.


    Americares is a health-focus relief and development organization. They are offering assistance to partners in Turkey and Syria. Donations will help with medications and give aid to those in need.

    CARE International

    CARE International is an organization to help fight poverty and social injustice, focusing on empowering women and girls. Donations will go to CARE’s work globally.

    Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

    Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontiers, provides humanitarian aid. They have been on the ground since the earthquake in northern Syria, providing support to local hospitals, donating emergency trauma and surgery kits, and sending ambulances to places in need. Donations will help allocate their resources.

    Humanity & Inclusion

    Humanity & Inclusion is an organization that helps with poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster. According to the website, donations will help distribute mobility aids, like wheelchairs, canes, or walkers, and will work with other nonprofit organizations to ensure that they enact inclusive responses.

    International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation

    The International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation is a nonprofit that helps with emergency relief activities. Donations will help provide relief and aid to Diyarbakir and Malatya from the Sanliurfa office. Urgent needs are tents, heaters for the tents, tens of thousands of blankets, thermal clothing, and ready-to-eat food.

    International Medical Corps

    International Medical Corps is known as a global first responder. They provide life-saving care and supplies to families. Donations will aid with vital healthcare services and training.

    International Rescue Committee

    International Rescue Committee is a humanitarian aid committee. Donations will help send emergency supplies to children and families.

    Mercy Corps

    Mercy Corpshelps communities in Syria and worldwide. Currently, they are assessing needs and providing emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene activities, working to deliver essential supplies to communities affected by the earthquake. Donations will help with these efforts.

    Save the Children

    Save the Children is an organization that helps children living in crisis. Donations will help children in Turkey, Syria and around the world.

    Syrian American Medical Society

    Syrian American Medical Society is a global medical relief organization. They provide medical care to those in need. Donations will go to the Earthquake Relief Fund in Syria.

    Turkish Red Crescent

    Turkish Red Crescent is a public benefit institution. According to the website, the organization has already directed mobile kitchens and catering vehicles to the affected areas. They sent tents and blankets to the earthquake zones and started to deliver blood to those in need. Donations will help in these efforts.


    UNICEF is an organization that helps save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential. Donations will help provide critical support and send emergency relief to children impacted in Syria and Turkey.

    Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations

    Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations is a nonprofit organization that provides medical relief. Donations will go toward saving the lives of those injured and medical and humanitarian relief.