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February 21, 2023

ActionAid is devastated to hear the news of a second powerful earthquake hitting the Turkey-Syria border. The earthquake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale and is likely to cause further untold damage and loss of life in a region already facing considerable trauma. Coastal communities are being advised to seek refuge inland as sea levels rise as a result of the shock. 

Commenting on the emerging situation Racha Nasreddine, Regional Director of ActionAid Arab Region, said: 

“We are deeply saddened to hear that the very same communities on the frontline of this month’s devastating earthquake are once again facing catastrophe. These are people whose lives were already ripped apart by the first earthquake and who will now once again be out on the streets without shelter. Women and girls, all too often the most affected by the earthquake, will once again bear the brunt of this fresh disaster.” 

“Our hearts and our thoughts are with families affected and with our local partner organization, Violet on the ground, who once again face renewed trauma and are being reevacuated towards shelter.  

“Our colleagues on the ground are accounted for and are continuing to respond to the crisis. We are now rapidly assessing the situation to determine how to scale up our response.” 

Omar Derbas, from ActionAid’s partner organization Violet, in the affected region, said: 

“People here are absolutely terrified, much like after the first earthquake. The lives of displaced people are in imminent danger, and they want safe spaces to stay. Shelters are expected to become quickly overpopulated.” 


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Notes to editor   

Spokespeople available:   

Racha Nasreddine is the Director for ActionAid in the Arab Region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia. Previously, she has led the response to the Syrian crisis since 2015, in neighboring countries (Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt) and within the diaspora. She has local and international experience working across multiple sectors and countries in the Middle East and North Africa region on socioeconomic development, human rights, and cultural relations. Racha speaks Arabic and English- Currently in Jordan.   

Razmi Farook is the Regional Director for Asia and Humanitarian at ActionAid. Razmi has served in the humanitarian and development sector for 20 years, working extensively on the regional and country level in the areas of disaster management, resilience, climate change, the Syria crisis, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and on issues related to migrants, refugees, and women. Razmi speaks English – Currently in Columbo, Sri Lanka.   

Sabine Abi Aad is the Regional Communication and Campaigns Lead of ActionAid Arab Region. She has more than 20 years of experience in communication and, advocacy, project management. She is passionate about women and youth leadership, achieving social justice and gender equality. Sabine speaks Arabic and English- Based in Beirut, Lebanon.   

About ActionAid   
ActionAid is a global federation that works with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries. We want to see a just and sustainable world in which everyone enjoys the right to a dignified life and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work for social justice and gender equality and poverty eradication. 

Support Families impacted by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

People in the regions impacted by the earthquake already lived in very vulnerable situations, having fled their homes in war-torn Syria. The devastation caused by this tragic disaster will mean they have experienced one disaster on top of another, leaving them in a compounded humanitarian crisis. We are uniquely placed, through our women- and young people-led human rights-based approach, to make a distinct contribution in the response to this emergency, prioritizing highly vulnerable groups, including refugees, female-headed households, and people with disabilities. Take action with us today!