AmeriCares Relief Effort in Turkey: Update 15 Feb 2000

Situation: The relief effort in western Turkey focuses on housing the thousands of earthquake victims still without shelter. A powerful earthquake struck the nation on November 12, killing more than 700 people, injuring 5,000 and leaving more than 200,000 homeless. The magnitude 7.2 jolt centered in the province of Bolu, a region halfway between Istanbul and the capital Ankara. The latest quake came just three months after the magnitude-7.4 earthquake of August 17, which killed 17,000 people and injured an additional 44,000. According to estimates by the World Bank, Turkey incurred as much as $10 billion in damages from the latest disaster, on top of an estimated $12 billion from the August quake.
Response: AmeriCares has provided over 780,000 pounds of antibiotics, blankets, bandaging materials, nutritional supplements and other relief materials to earthquake-stricken Turkey, the first shipment arriving within days of the August disaster.

AmeriCares' fourth housing project, located in the Bolu region, is now fully operational. 200 winterized tents have been erected in the most devastated areas. The tents, which are fully insulated, will provide warm shelter for up to 2,000 of Turkey's newly-homeless population.

AmeriCares has completed three additional long-term housing facilities to shelter those left homeless by the devastating quake of August. Recently, AmeriCares partnered with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to deliver 275 all-weather tents. The tents, fully insulated and equipped with wooden floors, heating and electricity, now provide warm housing for approximately 2,200 of Turkey's displaced population in Yalova. Sikorsky generously donated the transportation associated with this delivery. A tent city for 1,500 people is also operational in Adapazari. Electricity and running water supply the 25,000 square meter compound, which includes 200 tents and an on-site dining facility. The construction of a third, more permanent housing complex in Korfez, west-northwest of Izmit, is now complete. Its 216 pre-fabricated units, each furnished with central heating and plumbing, provide housing for over 1,700 people. A dining facility, community center, medical clinic and athletic field are also on the premises. AmeriCares fully supplies the clinic with cots, exam tables, medicines and medical supplies, and medical personnel is on hand 24 hours a day.

Credentials: AmeriCares has delivered more than $8,500,000 in assistance to the people of Turkey since 1992. We are registered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (License #A0275), and we are a licensed drug wholesaler. We are also a licensed DEA Exporter (License #RA0178170). AmeriCares solicits donations of medicines, medical supplies, and other relief materials from manufacturers, and delivers them quickly and reliably to indigenous health and welfare professionals in over 130 countries around the world. Financial contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations are used to defray the cost of AmeriCares' programs. Every dollar donated to AmeriCares is leveraged to deliver more than $20 worth of aid to individuals in need. Since 1982, AmeriCares has maintained an operating overhead that is less than 2%.

AmeriCares is the world's largest private nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs-- and supports long-term healthcare programs-- for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion.

Thousands of earthquake survivors in Turkey still need our help. Please help us to continue our relief efforts by sending your cash donations to AmeriCares, 161 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 or by calling AmeriCares at 1.800.486.HELP.

Last Updated: February 15, 2000