Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria: On February 6, the Turkish-Syrian border area was shaken by a series of major earthquakes. Entire neighborhoods collapsed and over 59,000 people lost their lives. Help has initiated emergency aid in Syria for earthquake victims in the provinces of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Idlib. We are also helping in Türkiye in the aftermath of the earthquake.
The people in Syria are in urgent need of emergency aid:
"What we have experienced today is more difficult than all the war years put together. A great collective shock that I cannot even begin to describe. Hundreds of dead and injured, and hundreds of families left homeless..." – Eyewitness report from Aleppo.
Several severe earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria
In the night of February 6, 2023, Türkiye and Syria were shaken by a series of violent earthquakes. The most severe quake had a magnitude of 7.8 – followed by many aftershocks. Numerous houses collapsed, thousands were buried under the rubble. Around 26 million people have been affected by the consequences of the devastating series of earthquakes.
In Syria in particular, the situation remains unclear. One thing is clear: The scale of destruction is enormous. The infrastructure has already been severely damaged by almost 12 years of war. In many regions, entire neighborhoods have therefore collapsed. Hope of recovering any survivors from the rubble is now lost.
Humanitarian aid is urgently needed: above all, people need food, drinking water, emergency shelter and medicines. Help is asking for donations for those affected: Donate now
12 years of civil war
The civil war in Syria has been raging since 2011. Twelve years, that have turned the country into rubble. The situation of the civilian population is more despairing than ever: Half a million people have lost their lives. Over 12 million Syrians have fled, of which half of them seek protection in neighbouring countries or in Europe. This means that Syria is still the world's largest country of origin for refugees.
Most of the infrastructure was destroyed by the fighting: roads, electricity and water lines, hospitals and schools are in ruins. Countless children and young people in Syria face a future of poverty and unemployment due to a lack of education. Already today, more than 90 percent of the people in Syria live below the poverty line. Crop failures, inflation and a lack of grain from Ukraine have also caused food prices to rise almost thirty-fold since the beginning of the war. Around 12.4 million people are currently suffering from hunger in Syria.
In addition, cholera outbreaks occur time and again, especially in the overcrowded refugee camps in the north-east. The camps are an ideal breeding ground for diseases. There is hardly any clean water, the hygiene conditions are catastrophic. The people are in urgent need of support.
Emergency aid after the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria
After the violent earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, Help immediately initiated emergency relief measures for affected families. Together with our partner organizations, we are distributing hygiene kits, baby food, food packages, diapers, blankets and medicines, among other things. In addition, activities in the areas of reconstruction and psychosocial assistance are planned.
We are also providing aid to victims in Türkiye and supplying families with food and food vouchers.
Syria: The future begins now
After eleven years of civil war, the people of Syria are at the end of their rope. Help is still on the ground providing. In numerous IDP camps, we are providing Syrian refugees with essential supplies, including hygiene items in particular, to counter the spread of diseases such as COVID-19 and cholera. We are also currently distributing blankets and warm clothing so that people can survive the cold winter months unharmed.
Help is also supporting sustainable agricultural projects in northeastern Syria so that people can continue to cultivate their land and provide food for themselves and their families in the future. To this end, we distribute seeds, repair water pipes and provide training. We are also the first aid organization in Syria to promote hydroponic systems, which save up to 90 percent water compared to conventional agriculture.
Help has been active in Syria since 2012 and has already been able to support tens of thousands of people as part of its emergency aid. By repairing the drinking water supply, well over 100,000 people have regained stable access to clean water. Help has also promoted education in Syria: To prevent the feared "Lost Generation" from becoming a reality, Help renovated destroyed classrooms, built new schools and organized emergency schooling for Syrian children and young people. In 2021, we also successfully warded off swarms of desert locusts, preventing a plague that would otherwise have destroyed large parts of the harvest.
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- More than 15 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance (12/2022)
- 6.9 million people are displaced inside Syria (10/2022)
- More than 6.8 million Syrian refugees live in 129 countries (12/2021)
- Well over 227,000 civilians dead and countless injured and traumatized (03/2021)
- Around 30,000 children died as a result of the war (06/2021)
- 4.8 million children were born into the war (03/2020)
What we have achieved so far:
- Rehabilitation of wells and construction of sewage and drinking water lines for 132,500 Syrians.
- Food, hygiene items, blankets and winter clothing for 92,000 men, women and children
- 50,944 packages of baby food for families with young children
- Rent subsidies for 907 families
- Medical aid for 2,222 patients
- Rehabilitation of 66 classrooms for over 2,560 Syrian children, including:
- Equipment of the classrooms
- Water supply in the schools
- Sanitary facilities and waste disposal