WFP Stands Ready to Support Communities in Türkiye and Syria Affected by the Earthquake

Photo: AP
World Food Programme
Published February 6, 2023

United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) teams are on the ground in both countries, monitoring the situation closely

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck along the border between Türkiye and Syria, the U.N. World Food Programme is monitoring the situation and stands ready to deploy its emergency response expertise to support affected populations in both countries.

Earthquakes Devastate Türkiye and Syria

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep early this morning. It was Türkiye’s most powerful earthquake recorded since 1939. At least 78 aftershocks and another 7.5 magnitude quake followed. Thousands were killed and many more wounded.

The earthquake also heavily impacted northwest Syria where over 4 million people – primarily women and children – depend on humanitarian assistance.

rescuers search for survivors through the rubble
Photo: AP

The United nations and partners are monitoring the situation on the ground.

The earthquakes are devastating for an area that has already been strained by the Syrian conflict.

“Our thoughts go to families and communities hit by the quakes,” said U.N. World Food Programme Regional Director Corinne Fleischer. “The U.N. World Food Programme has been working in the region for many years and is mobilized to join partners on the frontlines of the response as needed and requested.”

WFP Works in Both Türkiye and Syria

The U.N. World Food Programme has worked in Türkiye since 2012 and in Syria since 1964.

In Türkiye, which hosts the world’s largest refugee population, the U.N. World Food Programme works closely with the government and the Turkish Red Crescent to provide food assistance and livelihood support. This includes assistance for more than 42,000 Syrian refugees living in six camps in southeast Türkiye that have seen the worst effects of the quakes.

a damaged bicycle as rescuers search for survivors through the rubble
Photo: AP

Rescuers search for survivors through the rubble after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Türkiye’s southeast.

The earthquakes devastated areas in Syria that have already sustained heavy damage over the course of 12 years of conflict. In northwest Syria, 90% of the population depend on humanitarian aid. 2.8 million people are internally displaced and living in camps or other sites. Out of a total of 5.6 million people the U.N. World Food Programme is providing food assistance to in Syria, 1.4 million are in the northwest.

Millions of Syrians depend on United Nations assistance delivered through the Turkish border, close to the epicenter of the quakes.


This story originally appeared on WFP’s Stories on Monday, February 6. We will update this story as details become available.