Earthquake causes widespread devastation in Turkey and Syria

We are appalled by the devastating earthquake which struck northwest Syria and southern Turkey. It is apparent that there has been destruction on an enormous scale and a correspondingly huge loss of life.

The people of northwest Syria have endured enormous hardship during almost thirteen years of conflict. The health system in northwest Syria was already fragmented and under strain and this will stretch it even further.

Rescue efforts have been mounted by the White Helmets and the locally-led NGOs that have sustained the northwest for the past decade have commenced a humanitarian response. The scale of the disaster demands an international response, yet in northwest Syria there is no state capacity to resource and lead it. All efforts must be made to keep aid travelling swiftly through the Bab al-Hawa crossing, the last UN-mandated border crossing between Turkey and northwest Syria.

Our Foundation is deeply proud of the close links we have with Syrian healthcare workers. In Gaziantep, Idlib and Aleppo, we have trained Syrian doctors in both lecture and operating theatres. We stand in solidarity with all those in Turkey and Syria affected by this catastrophe and are ready to help in whatever way is constructive and helpful to our partners.