Media Release

New Zealand Red Cross’ international delegate reports on a visit to the earthquake zone in Türkiye

2 April 2023

International delegate, Dallas Roy has made his first visit to south eastern Türkiye, in the area devastated by earthquakes two months ago.  

Fourteen million people have been directly affected, nine million in Türkiye and five million in neighbouring Syria. Many have lost loved ones, their homes and livelihoods. The earthquake zone is approximately 400 square kilometres.  
Dallas has just visited the cities and provinces of Gaziantep and Adiyaman. In Adiyaman city, approximately one in seven buildings have collapsed.

He says, “When you see the number of trucks and machinery continuously working to remove debris, the queues of people lining up for support, and a tent camp which fills a sports stadium, along with many other informal tent settlements wherever there is available space, it really brings home the scale of this disaster, and the work required to even start recovery.”

Complementing local leadership   

On 18 February, Dallas started a three month deployment, based in Ankara. His work with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is at a national level; planning, budgeting and coordinating, and directly supporting Kizilay – Turkish Red Crescent, whose teams are providing vital daily relief to millions of people in the disaster zone. 


Dallas works alongside the emergency response leadership of Kizilay and IFRC. Kizilay is a long established, organised Red Crescent Society, with roots going back to 1868. Its staff often deploy to disasters in other parts of the world. “I needed to provide a value add to support this highly experienced organisation,” says Dallas.  

With a team of specialists, he has been working next to the purpose-built National Emergency Operation Centre in Ankara.   From April, he will spend more than half his time in Gaziantep and the affected areas. He will take over responsibility for the IFRC team providing direct support to Kizilay and the implementation of activities supporting the affected population in all 11 affected provinces.   

Dallas says, “It’s about building relationships quickly, working with the leadership of Kizilay’s disaster management, social services, and international department units. Getting everything into a detailed plan, including data that specialists are collating from the zone, and budgeting means the leadership can see the overall needs and the gaps, and are then able to prioritise personnel, relief items and their distribution, and all requirements to support the most vulnerable and most affected people and communities.”  

This is a complex two-year operation with many organisations and agencies involved. 

Supporting Kizilay’s food distribution work 

Part of the ongoing planning is food distribution. Kizilay is mandated by the Turkish government to coordinate the food distribution for the emergency response. This means preparation and food distribution for millions of people affected by the disaster.   

While over 300 organisations are coordinated by Kizilay for preparation and distribution of food, Dallas says the overall co-ordination of providing meals three times a day, and making and distributing food packages, including to remote areas, is a massive task logistically. “I visited one of the kitchen facilities in Adiyaman, with many huge cauldrons of soup and other food being prepared. The teams, working around the clock, are making 110,000 meals, three times a day, and that’s just a small proportion of the overall daily food production,” he says.  

More than three and half million hot meals and food packages are being provided every day to vulnerable people and relief workers in the area. Last week, the month of Ramadan started, so food distribution schedules needed to alter to accommodate the daily fast period.  

Kizilay food preparation

Dallas is continuing to provide strategic operational planning and budgeting for the relief phase leading to recovery by developing a six-month plan. He says, “Every situation is different. There’s no neat cut off from relief to recovery, which involves rebuilding infrastructure, homes and local economies, so people can start to live independently. Now, we are focusing on ensuring people are being provided with basic needs, shelter, food, water, hygiene, psychological support, and beginning planning for recovery actions such as support to livelihoods.”&nbsp

Kizilay support

Cash assistance programme

Cash and voucher assistance is an essential next step in scaling up the humanitarian needs, giving

 people the freedom to purchase what they need most. The scheme helps boost local economies and support long-term recovery. Turkish Red Crescent and IFRC aim to assist 151,000 vulnerable households with twice monthly, electronic, multipurpose cash vouchers so people can buy necessities, including groceries and household goods.

Kizilay has also started 12 social markets in the earthquake zone where people can get their basic needs free of charge. There are also other markets now operating around the temporary camps set up by local authorities and organisations to help stimulate local economies and create employment. 

One of Kizilay’s social markets 

More than 1.5 million people who have sought safety in Türkiye continue to receive cash assistance uninterrupted through the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN). The assistance is provided by IFRC and Kizilay and funded by the European Union.  

Red Cross Movement in Türkiye and Syria  

The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement includes the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), made up of 192 National Societies including New Zealand Red Cross. IFRC brings international support to enhance delivery and coordination across borders to support these National Societies during emergencies, such as earthquakes, floods and epidemics. The Movement also includes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who are at the forefront in conflict zones, protecting and providing safe passage of, and relief to, those most in need. 
The ICRC doesn’t have an operational role in Türkiye, but it does support Kizilay – Turkish Red Crescent address urgent needs, such as provision of shelter items. In Syria, ICRC already has a strong operational presence due to the ongoing twelve-year conflict. ICRC is on the ground responding to the most pressing needs and supporting Syria Arab Red Crescent’s local teams. It has provided surgical and medical supplies to several hospitals in the most affected provinces, and channeled aid into the earthquake zone. ICRC continues to work with the international community to provide safe passage of personnel and relief. 

New Zealand Red Cross’ Türkiye Syria Earthquakes Appeal  

Humanitarian needs are growing. Our appeal remains open, and we are continuing to raise funds to support the response and recovery efforts in both countries. So far, the generosity of New Zealanders supporting the appeal has enabled Dallas' deployment. We are also able to contribute $NZD250,000.00 each to IFRC and ICRC respectively and directly support Kizilay – Turkish Red Crescent and Syria Arab Red Crescent’s work on the ground.  
Local Red Crescent teams are leading the relief work on the ground, providing urgently needed support to the people of Türkiye and Syria affected by this disaster. 
Donations can be made online, or over the phone Türkiye Syria Earthquakes Appeal or call 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 27677) Option 2. 

Information for editors  

For all media enquiries please contact us on or call 04 495 0139.  

Interview with Dallas Roy: If you’d like to interview Dallas Roy in Türkiye, contact us via the email as above. To ensure a timely response, please include the angle of your story, question areas, whether live or recorded, and the channel/programme where the story will be aired. We will respond promptly to arrange access whenever possible.  

Spokesperson: For media interviews in Aotearoa New Zealand, we can offer Viv Euini, Director of International Operations, (Emergency Management and International), New Zealand Red Cross.   
Viv is Auckland based and leads New Zealand Red Cross’ global response to disasters and conflict in coordination with the International Red Cross Movement. She has a team of international delegates with wide ranging knowledge and skills who are deployed to support these types of response.  

Support to contact our International Red Cross Movement partners: We can help media to connect with our partners internationally and on the ground in Türkiye and Syria.  

Photos, Video and B-roll: We can provide access to Red Cross images and video, on request.  

How New Zealand Red Cross is responding 

The Türkiye Syria Earthquakes Appeal remains open. The funds raised in this appeal are used to aid the response and recovery efforts to provide urgently needed support to the people of Türkiye and Syria, affected by this disaster.   

So far, the generosity of New Zealanders supporting the appeal our has enabled Dallas' deployment and we are able to contribute $NZD250,000.00 each to IFRC and ICRC, respectively and directly support Kizilay – Turkish Red Crescent and Syria Arab Red Crescent’s work on the ground.  


Can be made online, over the phone or in our shops, more information is available at Türkiye Syria Earthquakes Appeal  or call 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 27677) Option 2. 

Finding missing family

Our Restoring Family Links team is always ready to receive enquiries from people living in Aotearoa New Zealand who have lost contact with loved ones due to the disaster.

Find missing family overseas - form  

About the Red Cross Movement

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is neutral and independent. It is dedicated to preventing and alleviating human suffering due to conflict and in emergencies such as epidemics, floods and earthquakes.

Red Cross is not a single organisation; it is made up of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the 192 individual National Societies, including New Zealand Red Cross. Each has its own legal identity and role.    

We have a network of more than 80 million people around the world. 

More about the Movement 

International delegate programme

Our international delegates are skilled New Zealanders who work overseas to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity on the front line in conflict zones and in other crises.

We have more than 100 technical experts ‘on call’ in our International Delegate Programme, ready to be sent to assist in crisis areas. They are highly trained in emergency response and include professionals, such as operational managers, engineers, nurses and IT specialists. 

International delegate programme

Previous information about Dallas Roy’s deployment 

New Zealand Red Cross international delegate heads to Türkiye