Yesterday, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit the border region between Syria and Türkiye, causing thousands of deaths.
In response to the event, Fra’ John Dunlap, Lieutenant of the Grand Master, issued the following statement:
“Our thoughts and sincere prayers are with all those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, and their livelihoods in the earthquakes affecting Turkey and Syria yesterday. We pray in particular for the relief workers from our aid agency, Malteser International (MI), who are already on the ground working hard to help save lives; as well as for the international team that will arrive to support them from Cologne, Germany, in the coming hours.
Our staff in Syria and Turkey have all been deeply personally affected by this disaster. Many have lost family and friends. Our thoughts are with them especially as they continue their work to serve others even in spite of their own circumstances.
Oliver Hochedez, head of Malteser International’s emergency relief department stated that “Our colleagues in Gaziantep and Kilis tell us about the massive destruction caused by the quake there. Our emergency relief team has already been sent to the region. Our local partners are in urgent need of support, especially in the refugee areas in the north of Syria, where hundreds of thousands of people are living in simple shelters and are now defenseless after the earthquake. Temperatures in the region are currently freezing and it is raining extensively. In the hospitals of the partner organizations, the number of injured earthquake victims is increasing by the hour. So we have to provide help quickly.”
We encourage all members and donors of the Order of Malta who wish to make a contribution to support the work of MI.