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(Washington, DC – 10 February 2023) The race to save the lives of animals and people continues in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake in southern Turkey and Syria. As humanitarian rescue teams expand the search for people trapped in rubble, local animal rescue organizations are helping animals impacted by the earthquake. It’s anticipated that rescue efforts will take weeks, if not months.
Immediately after the earthquake hit, IFAW reached out to Haytap, an animal rescue organization in Turkey, and House of Cats Ernesto in Syria to ensure all staff and sanctuary animals were safe and to offer emergency support.
IFAW has committed $50,000 to launch its relief work in the two countries. Initial emergency grant funds will be used by the organizations to assess the hardest-hit communities, rescue animals in crisis and provide aid to animals in need.
“We know rescue efforts in such devastating circumstances are a monumental task and this is only a drop in the bucket,” says Jennifer Gardner, IFAW Disaster Resilience Manager.
“Thousands of animals will need emergency support, whether veterinary care or food or shelter, and we are working with partners in the hardest-hit communities. The need for emergency help grows each day and we are stepping up to do our part and help animals and people in crisis.”
IFAW’s disaster response team, which is in touch with partners on the ground, has received reports describing the devastation and destruction.
“The stories from our partners in the region are heartbreaking. The destruction is overwhelming – buildings reduced to piles of brick and some towns have been completely destroyed,” says Gardner.
“Our generous and committed supporters have already rallied behind us and we anticipate deepening our response work for this catastrophe.”
IFAW has spent decades responding to disasters worldwide including after 2015 earthquake in Nepal.
For updates, please visit the organization’s webpage dedicated to field updates from Turkey and Syria.
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