MERCY Malaysia’s Türkiye-Syria 2023 Earthquake Response Fund Appeal Remains Active

Kuala Lumpur, 8 April 2023 – MERCY Malaysia is continuing the Turkiye-Syria 2023 Earthquake Response Fund Appeal to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to those affected by the devastating earthquake. The 6th February 2023 earthquake (and its aftershocks) had caused massive destruction in the affected areas as well as the loss of many lives and displacing almost 2.2 million people.

MERCY Malaysia has developed a holistic Emergency and Early Recovery Response Plan focused on an immediate action plan encompassing four (4) components, namely:

  • Access to Healthcare Support;
  • Emergency Shelter, Food and Non-Food Items Support;
  • Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (eWASH) Support; and
  • Psychosocial Support and Protection

MERCY Malaysia has to date raised 22% of its targeted RM22 million needed to provide relevant and timely humanitarian aid for the Emergency and Recovery phases through public and corporate contributions. A cheque presentation ceremony was held on the 4th of April 2023, officiated by YB Steven Sim, Deputy Finance Minister, on behalf of Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia.

YB Steven Sim said that extreme impacts of disasters are more severely felt by vulnerable populations, requiring integration between humanitarian aid and developmental initiatives.  Hence through the revised Belanjawan 2023, the Malaysian Government is committed to addressing disaster management, concurrently tackling social inequality issues.

He added, “The synergy between humanitarian and development nexus which are more complex and long term in nature, means that implementing Response Plans, like for the Türkiye-Syria Earthquake which MERCY Malaysia has developed, require significant amount and sustainable funding. I encourage corporates, institutions, philanthropists, and members of the public to support MERCY Malaysia with their fundraising efforts. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by disasters.”

MERCY Malaysia deployed its rapid assessment team within 24 hours of the earthquake.  As humanitarian needs continue to soar on each side of the Türkiye-Syria border, the first mission team was shortly followed by multiple deployments of personnel and volunteers to scale up the response activities and expand the assessment area.

MERCY Malaysia response in the emergency phase will be for a period of three months, starting from March until May 2023, which aims to cover current needs, including access to health services support (mainly in Syria) and provision of daily basic needs like food and non-food items (in Türkiye & Syria).

Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal Mohd Perdaus, President of MERCY Malaysia, who was part of Mission 6, commented, “There were challenges faced by the initial mission teams, especially on the provision of health services including psychosocial support which was limited to only local actors by the Turkish authority. Riding on its 24 years of experience in humanitarian diplomacy, including having long-standing partnerships with local NGOs as well as good stakeholder engagements, MERCY Malaysia  managed to obtain temporary approvals to conduct mobile clinics at some of the locations.”

Due to the severe impact of the earthquake, the situation in both Türkiye and Syria remains dire. While Türkiye requires large-scale container homes to accommodate the tens of thousands of families displaced, MERCY Malaysia’s focus for Syria will be on primary health services, medicine and medical supplies, as well as Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services. As part of the Food and Nutrition component, MERCY Malaysia has also re-opened a Bread Bakery in Qurqanya, which serves more than 3,280 families from 44 IDP camps around Idlib, providing free loaves of bread daily for a period of three months. This will provide them a source of food during Ramadan and Syawal

Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal added, “MERCY Malaysia thanks all donors for their contributions and reiterates its commitment to continue providing aid to those in need. With further funding, humanitarian relief works can be stepped up, leading to impactful recovery, rehabilitation and development programmes for the people of Türkiye and Syria in the future.”

At the event, YB Steven Sim also congratulated MERCY Malaysia for being Asia’s first NGO to be a verified Emergency Medical Team (EMT) by the World Health Organization (WHO), which means that they can readily deploy a self-sufficient team and facility under the Type 1 Fixed category to countries facing health emergencies. The EMTs form a significant part of the global health workforce that provides extra surge capacity and expertise to countries in response to disasters and health emergencies.


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