Heavy earthquakes hit Turkey and northern Syria early Monday morning (Feb. 6). Our long-standing project area is part of the disaster region. The teams of our local partner organizations Bonyan and Takaful Al-Sham report extreme destruction and high numbers of people trapped. Extremely low temperatures, snow and storms are hampering rescue and relief efforts. Hospitals are already overcrowded. There is a great need for aid. According to government figures and the United Nations, several million people are affected. Agencies report around 2,000 dead and many more seriously injured so far.
Humanitarian relief for those particularly affected
Given the acute destruction and plight of the people in northwestern Syria, arche noVa has suspended ongoing project activities in the area. All resources will be focused on providing aid to those most affected by the earthquake. Our local partner organizations immediately started with a so-called assessment in order to concretely determine the need for help (who, what, where) and to initiate relief activities accordingly. At the same time, the first distributions have already begun. Employees are also affected themselves, some of them homeless. They also have to look after their own families.
Our partner organisations have a total of around 100 employees. They have many years of experience in emergency aid. Donations can therefore be quickly implemented on site. For the next two to three weeks, the current plan of arche noVa is as follows (subject to changes):
- Distribution of food parcels
- Provision of prepared meals
- Water tankering0
- Distribution of NFI kits (e.g. hygiene products, blankets etc.)
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Hardship even before the earthquake
Around four million people have been living in difficult conditions in northwestern Syria since the war began. A large number of them have fled the violence in their own country. Informal settlements and dilapidated buildings characterize the region. In recent months, the people have been confronted with enormous price increases. The economic situation can only be described as disastrous. At the same time, attacks by the various warring parties continue to threaten the population.
Twelve years of war have left deep scars and injuries on the people of northwestern Syria. They have now been plunged into another catastrophe overnight, and in the midst of a winter storm. The international community must mobilize money and aid immediately to prevent the worst from happening.
arche noVa supporting the people in Syria since 2012
arche noVa has been active in the northwest of Syria since 2012 and was one of the first aid organizations to implement projects in the city of Aleppo. In view of the serious emergency situation, arche noVa focuses at the beginning on emergency food aid, distributes bread and provides drinking water. Our aid reaches refugees and the population of the host communities. Over the years, we have continued to expand aid distributions and support bakeries. Emergency water supplies are regularly secured in informal settlements, latrines are built, and hygiene and waste management activities are carried out. In addition, winter kits and other non-food items are distributed and shelters are rehabilitated. Most recently, our local partner organizations have carried out pilot activities to provide more help for self-help. In order to give people the prospect of a better future, income-generating measures and activities to secure the food situation are taking place.