The Patterson Foundation Contributes 500,000 Dollars for Turkey-Syria Earthquake Response and Recovery

The Patterson Foundation Contributes 500,000 Dollars for Turkey-Syria Earthquake Response and Recovery

Posted on February 23, 2023 by The Patterson Foundation
To strengthen immediate response and long-term recovery efforts in Turkey and Syria following the recent earthquakes that have devastated both countries, The Patterson Foundation has contributed $500,000 total in unrestricted funds to its long-time partners, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) and NetHope. The total includes two separate gifts designed to catalyze additional donations to both partners:
  • $375,000 to CDP's Turkey & Syria Earthquake Recovery Fund, which prioritizes medium- and long-term needs identified in collaboration with local partners, such as shelter, protection, cash assistance, and health care.

  • $125,000 to NetHope's Earthquake Response, covering half of NetHope's $250,000 total funding goal for the Response. The funding will provide internet connectivity for the people most affected by this disaster, technology equipment, and ensure better digital protection and cybersecurity to humanitarian aid organizations responding to the earthquake.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Feb. 6 was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Turkey, killing at least 41,000 people in the country's southern portion. Current damage assessments indicate that at least 90,000 buildings collapsed or sustained heavy damage in Turkey, leaving many homeless and in danger of exposure to harsh winter weather. More than 5,800 deaths occurred in neighboring Syria, where the earthquake threatens to worsen a complex humanitarian crisis amid more than a decade of armed conflict. An estimated 1,700 buildings have collapsed in Syria, with more than 7,900 buildings sustaining damage, leaving over 11,000 families homeless. According to the U.N., 4.1 million people living in northwest Syria already depend on humanitarian assistance, and only 59 percent of hospitals were fully functional before the earthquake.

"As citizens of the world, we are all affected by the horrendous scenes of destruction coming out of Turkey and Syria," said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "The Patterson Foundation has the moral imperative to strengthen people, organizations, and communities wherever large-scale disaster strikes. We are fortunate to have built strong relationships with two partners who share our commitment, both with proven track records of working strategically and flexibly. Through NetHope, donors have an opportunity to focus their support toward restoring connectivity, an often overlooked but crucial component of effective disaster response efforts. With CDP, donors can support recovery priorities that will emerge months after initial disaster relief efforts have concluded."

​​With an intersectional racial equity lens and an emphasis on medium- and long-term recovery, CDP works to identify gaps in recovery funding to help direct financial and technical support where it is needed most. CDP created its Turkey & Syria Earthquake Recovery Fund to address the needs that will emerge in the months following the earthquake.

Restoration of agriculture and other livelihoods and ensuring safe and accessible buildings for disabled people during reconstruction are two potential future needs, especially for those who have lost some or all of their family. The fund is informed by more than a decade of work to strengthen medium- and long-term recovery efforts following disasters such as Haiti's earthquakes in 2010 and 2021 and Syria's ongoing refugee crisis.

"Through this gift, The Patterson Foundation demonstrates its commitment to the Turkish and Syrian people affected by the devastating earthquakes," said Patricia McIlreavy, president and CEO of CDP. "We hope it inspires other donors to mobilize vital funding for addressing critical needs in the region's long road to recovery."

Founded in 2001, NetHope is a consortium of more than 65 leading international nonprofits that partners with global leaders in technology and philanthropy to design, fund, and implement innovative approaches to solve humanitarian challenges in the developing world through the use of technology.

NetHope's Earthquake Response is focused on establishing accessible, stable internet connectivity for its international nonprofit member organizations actively providing aid in Turkey and Syria, as well as for displaced residents who rely on the internet to contact loved ones and find assistance. The Response will also replace essential technology equipment lost in the earthquake, such as laptops and cellphones — tools NetHope members and other aid workers rely on to coordinate their vital humanitarian missions. Additionally, NetHope is focused on protecting humanitarian organizations and the people they serve from cyber attacks, which are prevalent in the aftermath of a disaster.

"The Patterson Foundation understands the need for expert action at speed in an emergency like that of the devastating earthquake," said Lance Pierce, CEO of NetHope. "Communication is aid. Internet connectivity is a vital need that assists those affected find safe shelter, food, and support and connects the agencies and experts who will help them. We are grateful for the generosity of The Patterson Foundation for their contribution and the tremendous impact their gift will make to those who need it most."

The Patterson Foundation has long turned to CDP and NetHope to guide its response to disasters worldwide. Since 2011, The Patterson Foundation has invested more than $8.95 million combined into both partners.

To learn more about these efforts and ways to contribute to them, please visit:

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