PSAC’s Social Justice Fund has donated $15,000 to Oxfam to support emergency relief in Turkey and Syria, following the February 6 earthquake — the worst to hit the region in nearly 100 years. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 40,000 people, with the death count still climbing, and left millions more displaced without shelter from the freezing temperatures.
In Syria, over 15 million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance prior to the earthquake due to the ongoing conflict that has displaced more than half of Syria’s pre-war population. Getting relief to this area has been further impacted by US sanctions. While Oxfam has been working with this population since 2013, their needs have never been higher.
“As humanitarian catastrophes continue to increase around the world, the labour movement are an important partner in the efforts to rebuild,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president and chair of the Social Justice Fund. “This critical contribution to support Oxfam’s emergency relief in Turkey and Syria will ensure that impacted communities, especially grassroots and women’s organizations, are meaningfully involved in driving the relief effort.”
OXFAM has begun to provide first aid, protection, water, sanitation, shelter, and food, in coordination with civil society and in partnership with over 80 women’s cooperatives in the impacted region. They have also been mounting temporary sanitation facilities to prevent outbreaks of cholera and other water borne diseases.
PSAC’s support will help Oxfam scale up and respond to this humanitarian emergency by working with local partners for immediate relief and to empower women and civil society organizations to deal with the impact that this disaster will have for years to come.
For any individuals wanting to donate, visit the Oxfam website.
The PSAC Social Justice Fund was created in 2003 to fight the social and economic inequities that impact the lives of workers and people in Canada and around the world. The promotion of the right to decent work, quality public services, human rights, and equity are cornerstones of the PSAC Social Justice Fund.
Photo: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam