SICC | Singapore International Chamber Of Commerce | Raffles Quay – The voice of international business in Singapore
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14 FEB 2023  |  ISSUE 440

Dear Members and Friends

We have all been shocked by the devastation wrought by last week’s earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. There are big questions to be answered about building codes and their enforcement in Türkiye not to mention the absence of any caring governance in Syria. However, the immediate priority is to help the many thousands of people who have lost loved ones, homes and places of work.

Many thanks to all of you who have already donated money and winter clothes. Please read on for a message from UNHCR as to how we can all help.

Yours faithfully
Victor Mills
Chief Executive

Help families impacted by earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria

Two powerful earthquakes struck south-eastern Türkiye and northern Syria on February 6. Many thousands of people are confirmed dead with numbers expected to rise. Amongst those affected inside Syria are Syrians who are still displaced in their own country and living in flimsy shelters, tents and partially destroyed buildings.

The earthquakes have destroyed people’s homes and local infrastructure—families are in urgent need of relief items and shelter. Severe winter storms are sweeping through the region—families need urgent protection from icy winds, snow, and rain. 

In Türkiye, UNHCR is coordinating the provision of several thousand requested core relief items for centres managed by the government, These include the temporary accommodation centres (TACs), which host around 1.5% of the country’s Syrian refugees (47,000) and may, if needed, also be used to accommodate local residents. Core relief items are being dispatched and include blankets, mattresses, kitchen sets, food packs and warm clothing.    

In Syria, UNHCR is focusing very much on shelter and relief items, ensuring that collective centres where the displaced have gone have adequate facilities, as well as tents, plastic sheeting, thermal blankets, sleeping mats, winter clothing and other life-saving items. As many as 5.3 million people in Syria may have been left homeless by the earthquakes that struck the country and Türkiye. 

Corporates, foundations and individuals can all do their part to help. Contact the UNHCR partnerships team in Singapore at [email protected] to launch an employee giving campaign or make a donation. Every bit of support goes a long way.

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