Research Societies and Universities Respond to the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
The earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria in February 2023 was a devastating natural disaster that resulted in tremendous loss of lives, destruction of homes and infrastructure, and displacement of people. In response to this humanitarian crisis, many research societies and universities have stepped forward and taken action.
Fundraising and Relief Efforts
One of the primary ways in which research societies and universities are responding is by providing funding and resources for relief efforts. Many organizations have launched emergency fundraising campaigns to provide aid to those affected by the earthquake. For example, the Society for Research in Child Development has released a Child Evidence Brief on the impact of natural disasters on children, along with a request for readers to contribute to the American Red Cross for earthquake relief. The American Society of Nephrology included a similar request in its Society News to support Direct Relief, another international nonprofit and humanitarian organization. Universities have also stepped up to support the relief efforts. For instance, the Turkish Student Association at the University of California, Berkeley, has launched a fundraising campaign to support relief efforts in Turkey and Syria as well as a collection drive for blankets, diapers, clothing, and health supplies.
Support for International Students and Faculty
Universities in particular have focused on providing financial and emotional support to students from Turkey and Syria on their campuses. For example, Stanford University organized a support group for students, faculty, and staff who have connections with Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. The University of Glasgow has made its Hardship Fund available for students whose homes and families have been affected by the earthquake, and also conducted a solidarity vigil for the people of Turkey and Syria.
Expertise and Knowledge
Research societies and universities are also contributing to the disaster response by providing expertise and knowledge to assist relief efforts. Researchers and scientists are using their skills to help understand the impact of the earthquake and identify ways to mitigate the effects of future earthquakes. For example, the Turkish Academy of Sciences has issued a statement calling for increased research on seismic activity in the region. Researchers from various universities are also working to develop new technologies and methods to improve earthquake prediction and early warning systems.
Research societies and universities are providing support to those affected by the earthquake. Turkish and Syrian universities suspended exams and classes and joined disaster relief efforts. Alsham Private University, Latakia, Syria, has opened its doors to host families affected by the earthquake. Researchers and faculty members are also volunteering their time and expertise to support relief efforts; the University of Aleppo formed a volunteer medical rescue and aid team for rescue and humanitarian work in the city of Aleppo. UK-Med, a frontline medical aid charity hosted by the University of Manchester, has sent a six-person initial medical assessment team to Gaziantep, Turkey.
Research societies and universities are playing a vital role in responding to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Through fundraising, research, expertise, and support, they are contributing to relief efforts and helping those affected by the disaster. However, there is still much work to be done to rebuild the affected areas and support those who have been displaced. The earthquake serves as a reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness and the need for continued research and investment in earthquake prediction and mitigation efforts.