More than 22-thousand people have died in Monday's earthquake in Syria and Turkey, but survivors are still being pulled from the rubble.

Rescuers pulled several people alive from the toppled remnants of buildings on Friday, some who survived more than 100 hours trapped under crushed concrete in the bitter cold. 

Organizations from across the globe and here and in Canada have also offered humanitarian aid, including Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC Canada). 

Annie Loewen is the humanitarian assistance coordinator with MCC Canada. She says they are working with partners in Syria.

"Everyone is quite devastated," said Loewen. "This is obviously something that they didn't anticipate would happen. This is something that, while they are involved in the community, and they're perfectly placed for humanitarian response, they were responding to a long-term war situation, and now they've had to pivot to this emergency."

The partners working in Syria are people from the local community, and Annie says their lives have also been hugely impacted.

"They have lost homes. They have had friends and family who have been injured or killed by this earthquake," said Annie. They're dealing with a lot of emotional stress."

Despite all of this, Annie says they are still working at providing support for people. 

"They've opened up churches. They've also opened up community centres that are providing food for people who can't return to their homes because it's not safe."

Annie says they are also making sure people have access to clean water, hygiene items, clothing and blankets. 

"We've been working with our partners over the past decade to provide trauma counselling support, so many of our partners have the training to respond to people in mental distress," Annie explained. "We also have partners who provide children's activities because it's significant trauma for children, so being able to provide them with games and just some fun comforting things."

Although the devastation seems so far away, Annie says there are many ways that Canadians can get involved. 

"I would say learn about other Canadian nonprofits working in the area, " said Annie. "And of course, I always I would encourage people to donate at, which is part of the Humanitarian Coalition, which is a group of Canadian organizations who are responding in, in the situation in Syria and Turkey."

Another way we can be of help is through prayer. 

"I think in the past ten years, people in Syria feel like they're being forgotten by the world generally. You know, you don't see it come up in the news as often," said Annie. "So what I always hear from partners is that they're afraid that they're being forgotten, that the needs of Syrian people are being forgotten."

"I would say if you can pray that, you know, we are thinking about them, that we're continuing to think about them even after this earthquake exits the news cycle, that we continue to keep people in Syria in our prayers and our thoughts. That would be the key point."

Today on Connections, Annie shares how MCC Canada is assisting partners in Turkey and Syria and how Canadians can get involved.