published in EarthquakeEmergencyNatural Disaster on July 13, 2023

Earthquake Disaster Türkiye/Syria

All ALWS updates about the Turkiye/Syria Earthquake Disaster can be found here, this includes how you can help and information about efforts on the ground to those impacted by the disaster.

UPDATE 5: Tuesday 14 February

The ALWS family is responding with great kindness and generosity to the ALWS earthquake response through ACT Alliance. So much so that:

ALWS can DOUBLE AGAIN our in-faith commitment for the emergency relief effort – to $80,000!

Our original plan was to deliver your aid through ACT Alliance partner, Christian Aid.

As the scale of the disaster unfolds, the need for a response that goes beyond immediate relief is obvious. That’s why our ALWS help will now be delivered in Syria through our long-term partner, LWF (Lutheran World Federation) working alongside CARITAS Syria. 

This flexibility is a key benefit of the ACT Alliance, maximising the reach and utilising the strengths of all the different partners.


Where you help

  • Aleppo – Jabal Badro
  • Al Midan
  • Al Suleimaniah
  • Al Jabrieh
  • Sryan Qadimeh
  • Mahatet Bahgdad
  • Telefon Hawaai


Who you help

Water & Sanitation: 

6,800 people

Public Health:            

2,600 people


8,250 children

Shelter & Essentials: 

5,000 people

Food security:            

27,500 people

Community Engagement:

1,000 people


150 families


300 people


2,200 people



Why we help

Meet a survivor sharing her experience of the earthquake, and giving thanks for the help her family is now receiving through ACT Alliance partner, Middle East Council of Churches. 

Click here for 3 minute eyewitness account.

Thank you!


UPDATE 4: Friday 10 February

Photo: GOPA-DERD ACT Alliance


Overnight the death toll has risen to more than 20,000 people. 

As this terrible news comes through, we also receive good news of lifesaving aid from ALWS ACT Alliance partners reaching people in desperate need.


MECC – Middle Eastern Council of Churches

MECC reports that 232 sites have been offered as shelters in Aleppo since the quake, including church halls, mosques, schools and municipal halls.  

MECC is providing mattresses and blankets, as well as hot meals, to affected families, and is working to secure additional supplies to meet the needs.

They report that there is a lack of availability of some key items in Aleppo, so they are being transported from Damascus. Ghassan Chahine of MECC reports:

“The key need currently is food baskets.
We need canned and pre-made food,
as people cannot cook at the moment.”


GOPA-DERD – Greek Orthodox

GOPA-DERD* is performing assessments in Aleppo, Hama and Latakia, and has been distributing a variety of items to families in need including:

  • winterization kits – blankets, pyjamas and mattresses)
  • ready-to-eat meals
  • food kits
  • kitchen kits to shelters
  • battery chargers
  • hygiene and dignity kits
  • medical supplies to hospitals and shelters.


 Photo: GOPA-DERD ACT Alliance


GOPA-DERD is sending engineering teams to examine buildings to make sure they are safe for people to return to. They are also preparing to provide emergency psychosocial support in the coming weeks.

* GOPA-DERD is the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development.


Christian Aid  

Christian Aid is working in northwest Syria in non-government controlled areas.  

One of their Syrian partners has started distributing pre-positioned winterization kits in western rural Aleppo and Idleb. Another is distributing child protection and winterization kits, setting up child friendly spaces, and supporting family reunification.

* Christian Aid is the aid and development agency of 41 Christian churches ((Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox) in UK and Ireland.


Swiss Church Aid (HEKS)

HEKS is supporting families living in schools and shelters with in-kind support.  

They are developing a medium to long term intervention which is likely to be focused on providing multi-purpose cash support to affected families.  

They are performing their assessment from Damascus, working with the Syrian government’s relevant ministries.


FCA – Finn Church Aid

FCA is providing winterization kits to 2000 families in shelters in Aleppo, as well as hygiene and dignity kits.  They are undertaking assessments in Aleppo and Hama and will continue to develop their response.



The Lutheran World Federation and Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe are both doing needs assessments with their local partners and developing their response plans, which will be available soon.


Your ALWS action

ALWS is a member of the ACT Alliance of churches worldwide, which means our support from Australia can be channelled through local organisations, already working in, and trusted by, communities.

ALWS has made an in-faith commitment of $40,000 to the ACT Alliance emergency response. As of 9am Friday 10 February $39,392 has been donated toward this target. 

Donations are tax-deductible, and you are welcome to donate now, to provide the kind of care you see in the photo below. Thank you!

Photo: GOPA-DERD ACT Alliance  


UPDATE 3: Thursday 9 February

ALWS is responding to this disaster through the worldwide ACT Alliance of churches. Partners like GOPA-DERD are already:

  • providing hot cooked meals
  • distributing blankets and winterization items
  • delivering shelter items

In Syria, on-the-ground teams are carrying out needs assessments. 

This work is challenging because of the impact of the 12 year civil war. It is planned that Christian Aid will lead response in non-government-controlled areas, while MECC (Middle East Council of Churches) will lead in government-controlled areas.

ALWS has doubled our ACT Alliance commitment to $40,000. You are welcome to donate now.


UPDATE 2: Wednesday 8 February


The kindness and generosity of people like you means ALWS can now DOUBLE our in-faith
commitment to help survivors of the Turkiye / Syria earthquake.

The ALWS commitment is now $40,000.

Our ALWS support works through the ACT Alliance of churches worldwide, and is planned to be
delivered through front-line partner, Christian Aid.

Your support is welcomed! DONATE HERE


UPDATE 1: Tuesday 7 February

You will have seen the news today of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkiye / Syria.
ALWS has committed $20,000 from our Emergency Fund to the response of churches worldwide
through ACT Alliance.

The fact we can do this so quickly is because of the kindness and commitment of people like
you – thank you!

If you would like to be part of this emergency response, simply donate here.


  • Monday 6 February, two powerful earthquakes
  • key impact: south-east Turkey and northern Syria
  • first quake 7.8, epicentre in south near Gaziantep city
  • second quake 7.5, epicentre Central Turkey
  • 24 hours after earthquake, death toll reported as 3,800+
  • officials from WHO warn this toll could increase 8-fold
  • 13,293 people reported injured in Turkey alone
  • temperatures dropped to freezing overnight


Our plan is that your ALWS aid will be channelled through on-ground ACT Alliance partner,
Christian Aid.

While damage assessments are still in process, our experience in responding to previous
earthquake disasters indicates likely needs may include:

  • shelter
  • clean water
  • sanitation
  • household essentials
  • warm clothes

Thank you for any emergency response you may like to give – donate now

Jonathan Krause
Community Action manager

PS: Even as ALWS responds to this earthquake emergency in Turkiye and Syria, we will maintain our efforts to help the people of Ethiopia and Somalia threatened by looming famine. It is our commitment that they will not be forgotten. The good news is we have locked in an 18:1 Matching Grant to support 8,080 Somali children to go to school – where they will receive daily school meals. The 18:1 Matching Grant means your personal impact is 18 TIMES your donation. Donate 18:1 for Somalia.


How your donation is used wisely

[] You help with practical care

Your donation will be used where you are needed most urgently to help people who are vulnerable, and in danger of being forgotten. Should ALWS receive income beyond what is needed in these projects, any extra will be used to support critical work in other ALWS-supported projects. Information in this communication is based on data correct at time of writing and may change. Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, or to promote a candidate or organisation affiliated to a particular party, or to support welfare activities as defined by DFAT. For more information, call: 1300 763 407

[] Being careful with your care

In 2022, ALWS ‘overheads’ (fundraising and administration costs as defined by ACFID Code of Conduct) were 15.4%. The 5 year average is 15.4%. A copy of the most current ALWS Annual Report can be viewed at or requested: 1300 763 407.

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Privacy Policy is available at If you don’t wish to receive further news from ALWS, simply call 1300 763 407 or write to us at

Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is The Overseas Aid & Development Agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia – ABN 36 660 551 871

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