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Earthquakes Devastated Turkey and Syria: 5 Ways Canadians Can Help

A Turkish flag at half-mast in front of the Turkish Embassy building in Kyiv, Ukraine after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit Turkiye's Kahramanmaras, on February 07, 2023
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On Monday, February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing nearly 8,000 people and injuring many more, as CNN reports. Now, rescuers continue to search for survivors in the face of collapsed buildings and freezing temperatures.

The earthquake was one of the strongest to hit the area in over 100 years, causing damage and reducing many buildings and homes to rubble.

“Thousands of buildings collapsed in both countries and aid agencies are particularly worried about northwestern Syria, where more than 4 million people were already relying on humanitarian assistance,” CNN details.

Now, governments and humanitarian organizations are taking action, lending as much help as they can by sending search teams and emergency aid to Turkey and Syria. As Global News reports, Canada has announced that it will send $10 million in immediate aid, but they’ve yet to commit to sending rescue crews or machinery.

“The support is really very heartwarming,” the Turkish Ambassador to Canada Kerim Uras tells Global News. “But we do need more help and the cold is working against us.”

So, as an individual, how can you help? It can be tough to know where to start, so we’ve put together a list of five ways Canadians can help the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

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A person holding a box that says "donate"

Donate to a verified charity

While it seems pretty obvious, the most helpful thing you can do from the comfort of your home is donate. If you want to help the victims of the earthquake, you can aid relief efforts with some cold, hard cash.

“Canadians have had a history of being very generous, and they continue to be very generous,” Save the Children Canada Head of Humanitarian Affairs Dalia Al-Awqati explains to Global News. “One of the best ways to actually support … rescue efforts and relief efforts at the moment is by donating.”

“People are going to need shelter,” Al-Awqati adds. “They’ve lost their homes, they feel unsafe in their homes. They will need clean water, they will need food.”


So, where can you donate?

If you want to send funds to help with relief efforts, make sure to research the organization where you hope to send money. The Canadian government has a website that helps people find out about charity scams, so it’s a good way to vet where you’re looking to donate. The Canadian Revenue Agency also has a database of registered charities, which is a great place to start sifting through charitable organizations.

Or, if you don’t have time to look through and vet charities, you can start off with pre-verified organizations like OXFAM Canada and Save the Children Canada – both of whom have been verified by the Humanitarian Coalition. You can also turn to reliable organizations like UNICEF, Global Giving, Canadian Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

See also: How Canadians can support Ukraine right now.

A woman texting on her phone

Text Telus

According to the Daily Hive, Telus is waiving long-distance and roaming charges on calls to and from both Turkey and Syria. Plus, if you have some money to spare and want an easy way to donate, you can text the word “DONATE” to 41010, which will give $20 to the Telus Friendly Future Foundation, supporting earthquake relief.

Order a pizza (with a donation)

If you live in Vancouver and find yourself craving a piping hot pizza, you can order one with a donation. As the Daily Hive highlights, if you order from Pizza Garden, they’ll donate $1 towards earthquake relief efforts – plus, they’ll match every additional dollar donated.

Related: 10 best dessert spots in Vancouver – plus why you should try them.

Talk to your local politicians

If you don’t have any money to spare, but you still want to help out in some way, speak to your local politicians. Al-Awqati explains that it’s important to keep drawing attention to the relief effort, as it will take quite some time, so it’s essential to let your local politicians know that relief efforts in Turkey and Syria are a priority for you.


See also: Canadian lakes are in trouble, warns new climate change study.

A woman and a man sitting on steps having a serious conversation

Keep the conversation going

Ultimately, it’s important to remember to keep up the conversation around relief efforts and the earthquake’s impact.

“Canadians have been generous … with their money, but they’ve also been generous with their support,” Al Awqati adds. “Keeping the conversation going about the impact of the earthquake is really, really important.”

While you may not have spare funds to send to relief efforts right now, your friends, family and coworkers might – so having conversations with the people around you about the earthquake’s impact could encourage your loved ones to donate money of their own.

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Corus Entertainment, the parent company of Slice, is supporting the Humanitarian Coalition in its appeal to help victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Donations can be made online

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