Families and aid organisations are desperately searching for survivors. Where there is no technical equipment, people are digging with their bare hands and shovels. A massive earthquake struck south-east Turkey and north-west Syria earlier this week. Buildings collapsed, people panicked and fled into the cold winter night.
From northern Syria, a region that belongs to the territory of the EMS member Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, an affected person reports: "The situation in northern Syria is particularly bad. Most of the people living there are refugees who have fled the civil war that has been raging over eleven years already. It is literally an emergency within an emergency." It is precisely this war that makes it so difficult for aid to reach those who are most in need.
Help provided by a network of churches
"Through the network of our Church, which was not directly affected by the earthquake, we fortunately have the opportunity to pass on help and support to the victims," explains Archbishop Dr Hosam Naoum of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East in his appeal for donations issued on Wednesday. The emergency aid of the Episcopal Church for the earthquake victims is organised in cooperation with the "Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation" (JHCO). The latter maintains a well-functioning supply chain and a convoy system. This ensures that all donations can be forwarded immediately to those affected in northern Syria.
"By working together with the Episcopal Church, we can ensure that help reaches its destination directly and without any deductions," emphasizes EMS General Secretary Dr Dieter Heidtmann. "Together with our brothers and sisters of the EMS Fellowship, we pray for those affected. We will do everything in our power to assist them in their need."
The EMS kindly asks for donations:
Evangelical Mission in Solidarity
Donations Account: EMS, Evangelische Bank eG
IBAN: DE85 5206 0410 0000 0001 24
Purpose: Emergency Aid Syria