Dear colleagues and friends,
On Monday February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria. Several hundred aftershocks followed, making rescue efforts difficult, which is contributing to this humanitarian crisis. It is the world’s deadliest earthquake in the past 25 years, with death toll surpassing 40,000 so far.
The earthquake and aftershocks destroyed thousands of homes in a region where millions of people were already without adequate shelter. As a result of the protracted war underway in Syria, about 3.6 million Syrian refugees live in Turkey, making it the world’s biggest refugee host country.
The damage is also causing electrical, internet and cellular outages and has disrupted transport and gas supplies that people rely on for heat in sub-zero temperatures.
How can we help?
Governments and humanitarian organizations around the world have sprung into action over the past few days, sending search teams and emergency aid to the region. In fact, from February 6 to 22, the Government of Canada will match up to $10 million in donations from Canadians to the Canadian Red Cross Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria Appeal. Please consider making a donation to support the Canadian Red Cross, through the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) or any other humanitarian relief organizations of your choice to help those in dire need.
Resources for Employees
We extend our deepest sympathies to our colleagues and Canadians with family and emotional ties with Türkiye and Syria. Now more than ever, we are reminded that empathy can go a long way. Your colleagues, friends and their family members may be affected by this tragedy, so please support them.
Consult these helpful resources that are available to us. You can also use LifeSpeak to get information about living with uncertainty, post-traumatic stress, how to talk to children about tragedy, and ways to manage stress and anxiety. Public servants can also contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-268-7708 or TTY: 1-800-567-5803 for people with a hearing impairment.
We stand with Canadians who have lost loved ones, and our thoughts are with them and all families experiencing unimaginable grief during this time.
Stay safe, stay well!
President, National Consultation Team