- Turkey, and Syria were struck by a series of earthquakes considered to be the worst in the last 100 years
- Allegedly some 23 million people are affected by the calamity, states WHO
February 06 and 07, 2023 saw a series of the worst earthquakes following a 7.8 magnitude that shook Turkey and Syria with disastrous consequences. A staggering 70 aftershocks were observed, bringing the destruction of all kinds in its wake. In response to the tragedy, multiple nations and organizations have stepped up their rescue missions, and international aid is on its way to the affected areas. The relief efforts include the provision of essential medical services and other necessary resources.
Crypto Community Stands with Turkey and Syria
The cryptocurrency community has once again come to the aid of those in need, this time providing aid to countries such as Syria and Turkey. This is not a new experience for the community, which has previously acted in times of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Many community members have stepped forward to assist by sending significant amounts of financial aid for relief efforts. Digital assets offer a great opportunity to help these regions, however, there remain issues that make it difficult for these funds to reach their intended destinations.
Sending financial aid to Ukraine like a war-affected country, was relatively manageablesince the regulatory system and infrastructure within the polityallowed it. In Turkey and Syria, it would’nt be so for crypto to set itself as a potential option. The former banned cryptocurrency last year itself, while the international sanctions of many prominent countries like the United States and the European Union restrict Syria for the same.
The international crypto community is reportedly making efforts to make donations to the affected regions. Many prominent crypto platforms are pledging their support.
Crypto Exchanges Facilitating Aid
Leading crypto exchanges are coming forward with every possible help. Bitget pledged to donate 1 million Turkish Lira, or 53,000 USD, while Huobi Global pledged 2 million Turkish Lira. Other crypto exchanges like Gate.io are said to likely participate to extend their support.
While crypto exchange Bitfinex stated in a Tweet their prayers for residents of Turkey and Syria and informed stating that, the company is “working on an aid package” to support those affected by the earthquake.
The Big Problem: Crypto Donations Have a Threat to Get Thwarted
As mentioned above, it’s not easy to provide crypto aid in both the affected countries. The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey brought a regulation in March 2022 that prohibited the use of cryptocurrency in the region. Turkish blockchain and research industries have asked authorities to accept donations made in cryptocurrencies through a petition. Reportedly the number of such entities is about 40.
According to a September 2022 Chainalysis report, Turkey stands at 12th position in the list of top 20 countries in the the Global Crypto Adoption Index. Another report shows that about 2.4 million people, which accounts for 2.94% of its total population, own cryptocurrencies.
The road ahead for the same might not be easy for Syria as the country facing civil war for a long time is also burdened with heavy international sanctions. Crypto donations via crypto exchange platforms might act as an evasion of sanctions that companies would avoid until some relaxation.
Syria is among the top ten countries, with 39.6% of citizens showcasing their interest in cryptocurrencies in a survey.
No argument could stand against the fact that Turkey and Syria need humanitarian aid and support as much as possible.
Unexpected and Devastating All Around
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake is the strongest witnessed in the region over a century. Aftershocks were cruel in number and intensity—the biggest being 7.5 magnitude. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter was 23 kilometers east of Nurdagi in Gaziantep province of Turkey and it was 24.1 kilometers under the ground.
Until the time of writing, the death toll after the earthquake crossed 5000 people in both territories. Turkey has lost its 3,419 citizens while Syria also mourned for over 1,600 people, as per the reports. As time passes and rescue operations get hindered by worsening weather conditions, the probability of death also surges. . The World Health Organization warns that the casualties may go up to 20,000 people.
By now, the international organization said that about 23 million people, including 1.3 million children, were affected by the catastrophe.
In a powerful show of solidarity, nations around the world are coming together to help those affected by the escalating conflict in Turkey and Syria. The United States, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq and many other countries have already sent or are preparing to send a strong assistance effort.
Teams from various areas, such as firefighting and medical operations, are providing invaluable assistance on the ground. Whether it is through donations of medical supplies or financial aid for relief services, independent volunteers have also been finding ways to contribute where needed.
International aid organizations like the British Red Cross, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Unicef, and many others have come forward and set up appeals for emergency assistance.
It’s encouraging to see countries and individuals come together to provide aid in such difficult times – a clear example of unity in humanity. If timely help reaches the two affected nations, it may be possible to salvage some aftermaths that have befallen Turkey and Syria.