On 6 February the world watched in disbelief as two devastating earthquakes and more than 1,600 aftershocks hit south-east Türkiye and Syria – causing widespread destruction and taking the lives of thousands of people.
Families were forced from their homes in the middle of the night, seeking refuge wherever they could.
Through the chaos and tragedy, it’s comforting to see the world respond with an outpouring of support for children and families. From water delivery to temporary shelters and family reunions, these are the stories that have brought a smile through the tragedy.
Reunited after the chaos
These two friends in Türkiye were able to reunite, amid rubble and ruin caused by the earthquakes.
All children deserve the same. They deserve safety, clean water, a place to learn and play, and to just be children.
UNICEF’s response is focusing on child protection, providing immediate psychosocial support in child friendly spaces, assessing main water stations and services, providing health and nutrition needs, distributing winter clothes for children, blankets and hygiene kits.
For every child – safety.
Seeking refuge in a mosque-turned-shelter
Children and their families forced to flee their homes took up shelter wherever they could. Some in mosques, schools and others in temporary shelters. Some, fearing further building collapses, stayed out in the open despite the freezing winter temperatures.
For every child – shelter.
Safe drinking water delivered
"I came here to fetch water for my family,” says Youssef, who came to this UNICEF water truck with his grandfather, Khalil. “The truck has come daily after the earthquake. We rely on the water."
Our hearts have been broken by stories of families who have lost everything in Syria and Türkiye. But thanks to the generosity of people like you, there are reasons to have hope.
Access to clean water is critical after an emergency like this, helping to prevent further deaths and illness. UNICEF is responding by trucking water to where it’s needed most. 12,000 people have already received UNICEF hygiene kits and access to safe water in Idlib and Aleppo.
The generosity and support from people like you have helped UNICEF to rush support to children like nine-year-old Youssef in Syria.
For every child – clean water.
“I’m really tired, but thankful that my family is safe.”
Hanan and her three children, seven-year-old Molham, four-year-old Hala and 13-year-old Nour, have been displaced more than once already due to the conflict in Syria. When the earthquake hit, the apartment where she was staying started to collapse and her family had to rush to safety.
Unfortunately, this is a situation they know all too well.
“I was displaced before because of the conflict more than once. I’m really tired, but thankful that my family is safe,” says Hanan.
In Syria, immediate priorities include providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, which are critical in preventing illness in the early days of a crisis.
For every child – health.
Hopes for the future
Syria & Türkiye Earthquake: Hope for the future
"I hope to go back to school and for our house to be rebuilt."
For every child – hope.
You can make a difference for children affected by the earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye, no matter how big or small the gift.
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