9 February 2023 - Türkiye

Second humanitarian disaster looms as children without shelter and water following earthquakes

distributing hot food

HATAY, Türkiye 9 February 2023 – As the death toll passes 19,000 in Türkiye and Syria, hopes of finding more survivors are fading, a second humanitarian disaster is looming with countless survivors in freezing conditions without basics such as shelter, food, water and sanitation, said Save the Children. 

Berna Köroğlu, Emergency Response Team Coordinator for Save the Children Türkiye, has been in the badly hit Hatay province for three days. She said: 

“Today I visited a Community Centre, which is being used as a temporary shelter, for people who have lost their homes. I saw a boy who had a head injury. He was accompanied by his mother and sister, who had also been rescued from under the rubble. Whilst I was there the family were told that the child's father couldn't be saved, his body had been recovered from the rubble.  

“People like this family, who have already been through so much pain and suffering, now face a second humanitarian disaster, as many are left without shelter, food, and water.

“Today, I visited Antakya in Hatay province. The whole town has been annihilated by the earthquakes and the people we’re meeting are telling us that they have nothing left in the city and they just want to leave. Their living conditions are bleak. They’re sleeping in cars or makeshift shelters, there are no toilets or running water. Without toilets people have no choice other than to relieve themselves outside, which could lead to waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery, which are particularly deadly to children.  

“The affected regions urgently need humanitarian assistance. The international community must do all it can to support local humanitarian efforts, in order to prevent a second humanitarian disaster from unfolding.” 

As of 9 February, Save the Children Türkiye emergency response team is preparing to help children and families living in temporary facilities across various locations. On 9February the organisation provided much needed hot meals for 500 people sheltering in a sports stadium in Hatay.  

In Malatya and Antep, the organisation has delivered packs for babies, which include baby food, milk and bottles, packs of baby food.  

Save the Children will also help people keep warm in the freezing temperatures by providing winter kits. In Hatay, we will distribute blankets, mattresses and sleeping bags. A tent area has been identified with enough space for tents for people who have lost their homes. 

The initial supply of  infant formula and bottles was a one-off delivery to the local government following an urgent request to dispatch support to children who lost their parents in the earthquakes.  Save the Children is working to identify options for non-breast fed babies who are in need and support for mothers to initiate and continue breastfeeding to help protect their health and wellbeing and that of their children.

To support Save the Children’s response efforts you can donate here


For further enquiries and media spokespeople please contact during GMT working hours: nina.teggarty@savethechildren.org and anna.rauhanen@savethechildren.org

Our media out of hours contact is media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409

Please also check our Twitter account @Save_GlobalNews for news alerts, quotes, statements and location Vlogs.

Ruby Wright l Media Manager


Email: ruby.wright@savethechildren.org

Phone/Whatsapp: +44 (0) 7969983222

Our media out of hours (BST) contact is media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409

Twitter:  @save_globalnews www.savethechildren.net


We stand side by side with children in the world's toughest places.