Türkiye-Syria Earthquakes

Türkiye-Syria Earthquakes

Airlink's Impact

NGO partners supported
Responders sent
Aid supplies delivered (tons)
Cargo pipeline (tons)


Sustaining Support:

Airlink’s Vital Response to Humanitarian Needs in Türkiye and Syria Post-Earthquakes

On February 6, 2023 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the border between southern Türkiye and northern Syria killing over 50,000 people. The quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years, was followed by a second earthquake of 7.5 magnitude. The Turkish government declared a level 4 emergency asking for international assistance. Transportation infrastructure was badly damaged and at least 47,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged. Millions were left without adequate shelter in freezing temperatures. 
In northwestern Syria, which was impacted by the earthquake, more than 4.1 million people rely on humanitarian assistance according to the UN. The majority are women and children and Syrians are particularly hard to reach due to ongoing conflict. Syrian communities were also battling a cholera outbreak during the winter.
Just two weeks later, on February 20, 2023, an additional 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey killing at least six people with hundreds injured. 

Disaster Response. Step One.
Get There. 

Airlink’s first flights for NGO responders were scheduled inside of 12 hours of the disaster happening and the call for international assistance. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, one of the most critical operational objectives is on-the-ground needs assessments. This ensures that the needs of the local populations are identified early and that the right aid can be sourced and delivered. Airlink is convened and engaged with its network of NGO partners to ascertain immediate transport needs. Search and rescue personnel and needs assessment teams were the first batch of responder flights Airlink undertook.

Airlink's Response: Immediate and Long-term

Airlink’s experience of past earthquake responses is that they unfold along a short, medium and long-term time horizon with needs changing at each stage.

Initially, search and rescue, medical support teams, temporary shelter, and food and water security are the most pressing needs. This may also include solar lamps for individuals and families, localized small unit generators, and technical equipment to patch together local infrastructure and allow communications for the better coordination of aid, as well as enabling local people to connect to their family networks – which can help in reducing community recovery times substantially. In the longer term, the focus will shift to debris removal (sometimes called ‘muck and gut’) and rebuilding support for local infrastructure and amenities, such as health system strengthening, rebuilding educational facilities, bringing plant and machinery for the production and delivery of clean drinking water and reliable power back online. Airlink anticipates providing free air transport in the short, medium, and long-term response phases.       

Response Partners