2023 APRU Multi-Hazards Webinar Series: 2023 Turkey-Syria Earthquakes

Two devastating earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria on 6 February 2023, causing catastrophic damages. The affected communities lack access to shelter, food, water, heaters, and medical care in cold temperatures.

Essential services, including schools and hospitals, have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquakes. This session will discuss the current situation and needs and how we could assist their recovery and disaster risk reduction efforts.

Date & Time

March 15 (Wednesday) in the Americas and Hawai’i
4 pm (Honolulu)/ 7 pm (Los Angeles)/ 8 pm (Mexico City)

March 16 (Thursday) in Asia and the Pacific
9 am (Jakarta)/ 10 am (Hong Kong & Kuala Lumpur)/ 11 am (Tokyo)/ 1 pm (Sydney)

Duration: 75 mins.


Click here to watch the recording. 

Download the presentation slides here

Muhammad Abdullah Ishari
Senior Programme Officer-MENA region, MERCY Malaysia

Abdullah, who went by that name, was one of a large family of eight siblings and came from a typical upbringing. He completed his early schooling in Malaysia before continuing on to Yemen for his higher studies in Arabic literature. After earning his degree, he started working in the fields of interpretation and translation. During the height of the Arab Spring, he worked in Doha for six and a half years as an interpreter for Aljazeera News Network. While working as a reporter for Al Jazeera, he continued his studies for a second time in Yemen for a Master’s in International Relations. He had to return to Malaysia when the civil war in Yemen started in 2015, where he encountered MERCY Malaysia while working on a project to cover a major flood in Malaysia. Afterwards, he joined MERCY Malaysia where he managed humanitarian programs and response as Senior Programme Officer for the Middle East and North Africa region. He was assigned to numerous significant global responses to crises and natural disasters. Currently he’s actively managing programmes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine as well as earthquake response in Turkiye and Syria.

Mr. Charles M. Ham
Senior Specialist, National Disaster Preparedness Training Center & University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

Charles Ham works with National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii as a senior specialist for INVEST DM project in supporting disaster management human capital development. His 27-year humanitarian and development experience includes working with communities in the Asia Pacific (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Japan, PNG, Fiji) as well as Albania, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany, Haiti, and others. As a consultant, some of his partners include HOPE worldwide, Ford Foundation, Citi Foundation, Microsoft, Apple, and various UN agencies; also serves as a member in the Global Health Cluster led by WHO. Besides disaster risk management, Charles also brings experience in public health, education, non-profit management and capacity building. His past works include teacher training development, university capacity building, community-based preparedness & readiness, pandemic preparedness & response, psychosocial interventions, community-based malaria and tuberculosis programs, housing and education recovery, network and partnership development, and more. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northern Illinois University, Master of Public Health from University of Massachusetts, and is currently on a doctoral study at the University of Hawaii at Manoa focusing on equity and resilience planning in small islands.     

Prof. David Sanderson
School of Built Environment, UNSW Sydney

David is the Inaugural Judith Neilson Chair in Architecture and has 30 years’ experience working across the world in development and emergencies. From 1994-98 David was a Project Manager at the Oxford Centre for Disaster Studies. David worked for eight years for the NGO CARE International UK, as head of policy and subsequently Regional Manager for southern and west Africa. From 2006-2013 David was Director of CENDEP, a centre at Oxford Brookes University focusing on development and emergencies.

Between 2013-14 he was a full time Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he taught a course, ‘Design for urban disaster’, and from 2014-2015 was a Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).  

David has published articles and papers concerning urban livelihoods, shelter and disaster risk reduction. He has carried out a number of assignments for NGOs and donors across the world, and in recent years has led post-disaster reviews in Haiti, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines and Nepal. He was editor of the 2016 IFRC World Disasters Report and the 2019 Urban Humanitarian Response Good Practice Review for OD/ALNAP. David is currently working with several councils in Australia concerning bushfire recovery; he also currently leads UNSW’s Institute for Global Development.

David was trained in architecture and holds a Masters degree in Development Practice and a PhD in urban livelihoods and vulnerability.

David has undertaken assignments for the Qatar Foundation, IFRC, Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance (ALNAP), Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), European Commission, Humanitarian Coalition (HC), Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), DFID, USAID, World Bank (EDI Section), UNDP/UNDESA, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, British Council, Christian Aid, Habitat For Humanity, CARE Bangladesh, Tear Fund, Save the Children, Oxfam GB, Islamic Relief, Register of Engineers for Disaster Response (REDR) Canada, World Vision International, LSE Public Policy Group, Mott Foundation, Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Action (ELRHA) and the ACT Alliance.

Currently external positions:

  • Collaborating Professor, Universitat de Catalunya, since 2020
  • Technical Expert, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative since 2017
  • Academic member, Steering Group, Global Alliance for Urban Crises (GAUC) 2017-19
  • Member, UNISDR Asia Science, Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG) 2016-19
  • International Advisory Group member, Project for the study of the 21st century (PS21) since 2015
  • Board member, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) 2014-17
  • Steering Committee member, ELRHA since 2014
  • Chair, Funding Committee, Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) since 2014; member since 2011
  • Member, Humanitarian Innovations Project Advisory Board, Oxford University since 2012
  • Visiting professor, Université Paris-Est Créteil, France since 2011
  • Co-Editor, PLoS: Disasters Journal since 2011.
Prof. Takako Izumi (moderator)
IRIDeS/ Graduate School of International Cultural Studies of Tohoku University and Director of APRU Multi-Hazards Program

Dr. Takako Izumi is a professor at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Japan since 2013. She also serves as Program Director of the Multi Hazards Program under the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), which comprises 55 universities and academic institutes in the Pacific Rim. Her research interests include international and regional frameworks/strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR), international humanitarian assistance, and DRR initiatives at the local and community levels.

Prior to joining academia, she has more than 15-year experience as a practitioner in humanitarian assistance, disaster response, recovery, risk reduction as well as various development issues with an international NGO and UN agencies such as UN Habitat, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), UN Office for the Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias (UNORC), and UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (Current UNDRR).

She has been appointed as a member of the UNDRR’s Asia-Pacific Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG) since May 2015. She holds Ph.D. in Global Environmental Study from Kyoto University, Japan.