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Our new Rounding Up project: emergency relief aid for those affected by the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey

Published March 16, 2023

With your help, we are supporting a new project as part of our Rounding Up feature: in cooperation with UNICEF Germany, we are helping children and families affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Find out here why we decided to support this project and how your donations are making a difference. 

With our Rounding Up feature, since the end of 2021 you have been able to round up any payment you make with your Tomorrow card to the nearest euro – meaning that your remaining cents are donated to climate justice projects and those affected by current crises. What works out as just a few cents for each individual actually makes up a large collective sum that has a huge impact and can really bring about change. Thanks to your help, we have already been able to fully finance the first few projects.

The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

It is one of the most severe earthquake catastrophes of the last few decades: a devastating earthquake struck the Turkey-Syria border region in the early hours of 6 February 2023. Since then, there have also been a number of severe aftershocks. 

Just to put it into perspective: the magnitude of earthquakes is measured by the Richter scale. This ranges from a magnitude of 1 (“very weak and only detected by instruments”) to a magnitude of 8 (“causing destruction for hundreds of kilometers, resulting in many deaths”). The earthquake in Turkey and Syria had a magnitude of 7.8. If an earthquake of a similar magnitude as the one in Turkey and Syria were to strike Bonn in Germany, it would severely damage or completely destroy the wider area from Cologne to Saxony-Anhalt. In this case, it would be possible to feel the tremors as far away as Hamburg and Munich (source).

The severe earthquakes in Syria and Turkey cost thousands of people their lives, injured many and destroyed entire neighborhoods. Many people are still missing. Turkish authorities said around 20 million people have been affected in the country and the United Nations reported that 8.8 million people are affected in Syria. A lot of people have been taking refuge in temporary shelters since the earthquakes and are reliant on support (source 1 and 2).

Providing aid to the victims has been further hindered by the aftershocks, freezing cold conditions and the already tense situation going on in Syria due to the civil war. In the north-west of Syria, an area heavily hit by the quake, many people were already suffering from poverty and hunger due to the ongoing conflicts and living in poorly protected, provisionally built emergency shelters (soruce).

The new Rounding Up project with UNICEF 

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) is the children’s aid organization of the United Nations (UN) and works in more than 190 countries and territories to protect the rights and health of every child. With our Rounding Up donations, we are now supporting UNICEF Germany, which has been helping children and families around the world since 1953 – and now also the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. 

Large numbers of children are among those affected and urgently need protection and targeted aid. Many of these children have been left traumatized by the quakes, not to mention physically injured and extremely vulnerable to aftershocks, freezing cold conditions and infectious disease outbreaks. 

Children in a psychosocial session in a temporary shelter in Gaziantep, Türkiye, ten days after two devastating earthquakes hit south-east Türkiye

Credit: © UNICEF/UN0784167/Karacan

Together with UNICEF Germany, we want to help these children and their families in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Five ways that UNICEF is providing support: 

  1. Water supply: UNICEF ensures that the children and families affected are given access to clean drinking water and sanitary facilities. This is important for their survival. 

  2. Child welfare: UNICEF provides psychosocial assistance for children. They urgently need support to come to terms with what they have experienced. In addition, UNICEF helps reunite children who have been separated from their parents with their families.

  3. Education: UNICEF is working flat out to ensure that children in the earthquake zones can return to school as soon as possible.

  4. Medical supplies: Via regional warehouses in the neighboring countries of Lebanon and Jordan, UNICEF is bringing even more urgently required medical equipment into the country, such as first-aid kits.

  5. Special nutrition: Sending out mobile teams to the crisis regions so they can reach children and pregnant women and provide them with therapeutic nutrition.

Our project with UNICEF Germany will be going live in the app in a few days – if you want to get involved, activate the Rounding Up feature in the app’s Impact tab now. Of course the feature is optional, which means that you can activate it any time, and also deactivate it when you no longer wish to use it.

We value transparency: We – meaning: the Tomorrow Foundation gGmbH and the respective NGO – charge the costs that arise at Tomorrow GmbH through the Rounding Up support, for example for the transaction fees. This is how we, as Tomorrow GmbH, also generate income in order to be able to sustainably establish Rounding Up as an independent impact driver in the long term. We base the fee on the evaluation of the Charity Watch organization. We plan to stay below 25% of the total amount on an annual average and are therefore rated with top grade (A) by the NGO.