On 6 February 2023 Monday two large earthquakes with magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.6 occurred in Türkiye with their epicenter being in Kahramanmaraş Pazarcık (04:17) and Ekinöz (13:24). The high magnitude, the high number of affected areas, and the long duration of the earthquake resulted in significant loss of life and property.
According to the official announcements from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the earthquake caused 50,096 fatalities and 107,204 injuries. As a result of the destruction caused by the earthquake ,11 provinces were declared as disaster areas (Adana, Adıyaman, Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Kilis, Elazığ), and since February 6, 2023, these regions have been undergoing significant transformations in terms of demographics, socio-economic conditions, education, and healthcare.
The earthquake caused millions of people to lose their living spaces either destroyed or rendered unusable, to experience injuries or disabilities, to lose their livelihoods, and to face disruptions in their education. Migrant communities living in the provinces which are declared as disaster areas were also profoundly affected by these losses. Among the 16 million people affected by the earthquake, there are 1.8 million migrants.
The emergency aid appeal (FLASH APPEAL) initiated by the United Nations (UN) immediately after the earthquake, with a total value of 1 billion dollars, was concluded on May 17, 2023. This appeal received a response of 513 million dollars and reached approximately 4 million people providing basic life support (shelter, clothing, hygiene, food, sanitation, contributions in-kind, cash support etc.) (OCHA, 2023). While emergency aid support plays a crucial role in providing immediate assistance to both local and migrant communities, the need for sustainable and long-term arrangements continues.
In order to address the humanitarian needs arising after the Kahramanmaraş earthquake, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has issued an aid appeal with a total value of 350,000 Swiss Francs (CHF). The goal of this appeal was to meet humanitarian needs within one year from the time of the earthquake. Now, it has been more than 6 months since the earthquake. Under the IFRC’s appeal, a total of 128,551,000 CHF has been raised through flexible and firm commitments, which corresponds to 33% of the target.
Numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations, associations, civil society organizations, and volunteer movements have carried out field support activities related to the vulnerability and mobilization of migrants affected by the earthquake. In addition to the distribution of basic vital needs such as nutrition, clothing, and heating, and other assistance activities there is also a need for medium and long-term restorative interventions. Turkish Red Crescent Migration Services Directorate has completed the second and expanded version of the “Information Note on Migrant Groups Affected by Disaster” (the first version was published in March 2023). While the first study consists of existing concerns and emergency interventions, the second study includes assessments based on current field research and survey data, in addition to literature review