The IKEA Foundation has committed €10 million to provide emergency assistance in Turkey and northern Syria, following a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the region on Monday, 6 February. The death toll from the disaster has surpassed 12,000.
IKEA’s funds will go to Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) emergency fund to provide lifesaving care where medical needs are the greatest. This will support the delivery of essential aid, including medical assistance, psychological support and healthcare services to those most impacted by the devastating earthquake.
Per Heggenes, CEO at IKEA Foundation, has urged others to join efforts to provide relief support to people impacted by the devastating earthquakes.
‘We are deeply saddened by the devastation and loss of life in Türkiye and northern Syria following Monday’s earthquakes and especially by the impact on children and their families. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those who are affected. I call on the world’s governments, businesses, and philanthropies to join us in the relief support for Türkiye and northern Syria,’ said Heggenes.
The IKEA Foundation is also speaking with other partners who are operating in the region. These partners are coordinating with Turkish authorities to understand further needs and opportunities to provide additional assistance. This includes discussions with Better Shelter, looking at ways to provide modular temporary housing units in Türkiye and Syria.
The earthquake has caused widespread destruction, leaving millions of people wounded and without access to basic healthcare or shelter. Health facilities in the region are facing immense pressure and have limited staff and supplies. Many hospitals are experiencing acute shortages because of high demand to meet the needs of many patients. The situation is particularly acute in northern Syria, where more than 4 million people were already relying on humanitarian assistance.
Response from the wider philanthropic sector
Other philanthropic organisations have also been pulling together their own responses to the disaster. Several funds have set up their own earthquake relief and response funds, including GlobalGiving, Give2Asia, King Baudouin Foundation US, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and Charities Aid Foundation America.
Organisations in Turkey have also pulled together their own funds, including Earthquake Donation Accounts managed by Turkey Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management, a fund organised by Turkish Red Crescent, the Kahramanmaras Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund by the Turkey Mozaik Foundation, and a Turkish Philanthropy Funds donation fund.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is hosting A layered disaster: Supporting long-term recovery in Turkey and Syria, an online event on 16 February at 12pm ET. The aim of the webinar will be to help donors and grantmakers understand the variety of immediate and long-term needs face by communities in the area, learn how the current humanitarian crisis affects earthquake response and recover, and increase knowledge of earthquakes, complex humanitarian emergencies, and way to effectively support recovery efforts. Register here.