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GOAL responding to catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria


February 6, 2023 • 2 min read

An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck Southeast Türkiye (Turkey) and Northwest Syria in the early hours of this morning. It is estimated that more than 3,000 people have been killed and thousands are trapped under rubble, as more than 2,000 buildings collapsed, triggering frantic searches for survivors.

A second earthquake of a similar magnitude was reported in the same region this afternoon, and more than 60 aftershocks and tremors were felt in Türkiye, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Greece and Cyprus.  

GOAL has been one of the leading humanitarian agencies in northwest Syria since 2012, and currently has a staff of 900+ there delivering aid and support across Idleb and Northern Aleppo. GOAL has also been implementing refugee response programmes in Türkiye since 2016, with more than 250 staff working in the country’s southeast provinces to help the most vulnerable and marginalized refugees access essential services and aid. GOAL’s operations in Türkiye are in Adana, Gaziantep, Hatay, and Şanlıurfa. 

GOAL’s current programmes in Northwest Syria and Türkiye include emergency response, resilient health, food and nutrition security, sustainable livelihoods, and protection. GOAL reaches approximately 1.5 million people in Northwest Syria and 33k people in Türkiye with its programmes every year.  

Speaking this morning, Derek O’Rourke, GOAL’s Regional Security Advisor for the Middle East said, “Our Emergency Response Unit is assessing the situation around our areas of operation that were most affected in these earthquakes in collaboration with local authorities, while prioritising the safety of our staff. GOAL is also part of the response coordination network led by AFAD, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.” 

It is the already vulnerable who are also most at risk – including the elderly, children and those with special needs who are eking out a living in stormy and snowy weather conditions and cold temperatures. Immediate needs will include food, water, temporary shelter, clothes, blankets, hygiene and sanitary products, and medical items. So please donate what you can via our emergency public appeal,” continued Derek O’Rourke.  

For more information on GOAL’s Turkey and Syria Earthquake Appeal and to donate, please visit 

For further information and to arrange an interview with Derek O’Rourke, Regional Security Advisor, Middle East, GOAL, please contact Jane Curtin, GOAL Communications. Tel: +353 87 938 0779