IMR's Response to the
Turkey-Syria Earthquake

Responding to an Overwhelming Need


IMR began sending disaster relief teams to southern Turkey immediately in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Sunday, February 5, 2023. 

After the earthquake, tens of thousands of people lost their lives and tens of thousands more were injured. Hospitals and clinics were permanently damaged or destroyed, and residents of communities hardest hit remain unable to enter many of those buildings to access their regular care.

IMR became the exclusive NGO overseeing a large hospital in the central region of the disaster where 80% of the buildings were destroyed. Hospital leadership and the provincial governor delegated IMR the authority of overseeing relief operations, and a housing compound was established for volunteers.

After rescue and relief efforts concluded, IMR provided assistance in the next phase of recovery. IMR managed the medical care of multiple communities as they navigated through their time of need. IMR volunteers helped residents navigate community health, referrals, and connections within the local Turkish medical system.

The Turkish agricultural system depends on migrant workers that come in for the harvest. These workers who were unable to access care in traditional settings were also being treated in full comprehensive medical and dental clinics hosted by IMR in the Cappadocia region of the country. These clinics provided triage, head-to-toe physical examinations, well checks, laboratory services, diagnoses, and a full pharmacy.

In addition, they provided sustainable education, training, and certification on various health topics to elevate the level of care provided in the field, not only when IMR teams were there, but with local staff and medical professionals long term.

Areas in Turkey and Syria affected by the earthquake. Source: USGS

We Continue to Collect Donations for Medicine and Medical Supplies

IMR's Earthquake Disaster Response

IMR disaster relief teams respond in waves according to the needs of the people in an area after disaster strikes. We mobilize our volunteers based on their skill set as it relates to the urgency of the victims. For Turkey and Syria earthquake volunteers, we are in Phase 3 in need of Relief Responders.

Our immediate responders are surgical and orthopedic volunteers, urgent care providers, and wound care specialists that can help with immediate patient stabilization. The need now includes general family practice and internal medicine providers, and mid-level practitioners, as well as nonmedical volunteers for our clinic operations. Our community health education focus is on clean water solutions, and accessing shelter, water, medical, and other assistance programs that may be available.

If you have the ability to join our disaster relief response to the Turkey-Syria earthquake, apply for one of the available missions and we will be in contact with you regarding the details.