Today, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced that the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State, is providing an additional $100 million in urgent humanitarian assistance in response to the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. This new funding builds on the $85 million in U.S. assistance announced for Türkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes, bringing total U.S. humanitarian assistance to support the earthquake response to $185 million. USAID is prioritizing the rapid delivery of relief supplies as the Agency leads the U.S. government response efforts in support of Türkiye’s emergency relief efforts and humanitarian organizations in Syria.
President Biden intends to authorize $50 million in Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Funds (ERMA) in response to the unprecedented and devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, as part of the newly announced $100 million in earthquake relief.
The funding announced today will expand existing aid delivery, allowing U.S. humanitarian partners to reach millions in Türkiye and Syria as people cope with an unimaginable level of loss and destruction in their communities.
USAID is providing emergency food and shelter for newly displaced people, as at least 150,000 are now left without homes, and millions of people are sheltering at temporary sites across impacted areas. As temperatures drop below freezing and hypothermia is a concern, USAID is providing winter supplies to help families withstand the brutal cold. Additionally, this new funding will allow partners to mobilize critical health care services in areas where hospitals are damaged or destroyed, as well as safe drinking water to prevent infectious disease, and hygiene and sanitation assistance to keep people safe and healthy. This funding will continue to support USAID partner organizations working directly in Syria. Since the start of the war in Syria, the United States has provided more than $15 billion in support to the Syrian people.
Hours after the earthquakes, the United States government rapidly mobilized to assist the Government of Türkiye and humanitarian partners in Syria at the direction of President Biden. The same day, USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced the deployment of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). At its peak, the DART comprised more than 200 people, including disaster experts from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, as well as 164 search and rescue members and 12 canines. USAID is shifting response operations beyond search and rescue to focus on surging the rapid delivery of relief supplies to millions of people. The USAID DART team continues to lead U.S operations on the ground, with personnel remaining in Adana and Ankara. The DART search and rescue team began to leave Türkiye yesterday, after 11 days on the ground, and though search has concluded, the DART continues to work closely with the Government of Türkiye, the UN, NGO partner organizations, as well as other global partners, and humanitarian organizations in Syria to closely coordinate response efforts, report needs and conditions on the ground, and prioritize the delivery of assistance to the hardest-hit communities. Our commitment remains the same – to get the people of Türkiye and Syria the help they need as quickly as possible.
U.S. military helicopters are assisting USAID in transporting relief supplies. To further draw on the full support of the U.S. government, USAID is also working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide satellite imagery to support disaster response operations.
USAID commends the outpouring of support from around the world, and we welcome contributions of other donors to continue scaling up assistance to reach the people who need it most. For those who want to continue to help, cash is best in helping affected communities get what they need. USAID encourages people to visit www.CIDI.org to find reputable organizations to donate to.
The United States remains committed to supporting the Government of Türkiye’s response and providing life-saving assistance to the Syrian people in responding to this devastating disaster.