The Humanitarian Situation in Syria has Never been Worse. PIN Has Managed to Raise 66 Million CZK (€2 million) And Help Tens of Thousands of People

Published: Mar 15, 2023 Reading time: 4 minutes
Furnishings and water tanks for temporary shelters being delievered in Idleb governorate, NWS. Earthquake response.
© Foto: People in Need

The immediate emergency assistance that followed the devastating earthquake in Syria and Türkiye is slowly coming to an end. Priorities are now shifting toward clearing debris, repairing homes and restoring damaged infrastructure. Many people who have lost their roofs are still sleeping outside or in cars. In Syria, we are working to provide financial assistance in order to buy basic food items and prepare 30,000 families for winter. We are also issuing the financial support necessary to repair damaged and destroyed houses. Finally, we are continuing to rebuild schools, in keeping with the work we have been doing in Syria for years. Our agrarian team continues to support local farmers so that they can continue to replant in spite of the natural disaster that has struck their nation.

Humanitarian needs in Syria will reach an all-time high in 2023, as the country enters its twelfth year of conflict. Simply in the northwest of the country, 4.1 million people already depend on humanitarian aid. The earthquake came in the midst of a cholera epidemic and during the coldest time of the year, only exacerbating the needs of those already in great need. 

Donate to the SOS Earthquake Syria and Türkiye Emergency Appeal:

Miriam (61) from Atareb in northwest Syria has received $150 from us as part of our financial support for people affected by the earthquake. "The first thing I will do is buy a water tank. Right now I just need to cover my basic needs.” she says. Although she was able to escape during the disaster, her house was badly damaged and her drinking water tank was completely destroyed.

We have a team of 450 staff on the ground in northwest Syria. We are distributing cash, hot food, winter clothing and other essentials to people affected by the horrific natural disaster. The border with Türkiye, which was previously impassable in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, is now open in both directions for commercial and humanitarian convoys. People in Need use this channel in order to provide much-needed materials. In total, we've donated: 

  • 50,000 litres of diesel and other essential items to local governments
  • 7,000 pieces of winter clothing to children and adults
  • 2,600 food parcels to the most affected families, as well as 1,900 packets of non-perishable food items
  • Hot meals to 1,500 households daily + 2,400 stand-alone portions
  • 400 meals for infants
  • $150 to 1,200 families in order to purchase basic necessities
  • Financial assistance via the Cash for Work program, employing 900 people for debris removal
  • 60 tanks of drinking water and 30 generators for the creation of makeshift camps to provide shelter for those who have lost their roofs

The situation is made even more tragic by the fact that a number of the people who lost their roofs or were killed in the earthquake were refugees who, up until recently, had been living in tents. "For the first time after twelve years of war, we actually feel safer in tents and in refugee camps." says Ahmed, from Hama in northwest Syria.

A team of 60 People in Need employees is working in Türkiye. In cooperation with local representatives and NGOs, we are distributing blankets, clothing, financial aid, gas heaters and solar lamps in order to make makeshift camps. We have 40 people on the ground distributing blankets and warm clothes in hard-to-reach places.

So far, our SOS Earthquake Syria and Türkiye Emergency Appeal has collected over 66 million CZK (a little over €2 million) thanks to donations from ordinary citizens, as well as major organisations like the European Union.

"In the coming weeks, we plan to provide financial assistance to buy basic food items and winterization equipment for at least 30,000 more families in Syria."

In addition to helping those affected by the earthquake, we continue to deliver food to 20,000 families in northern Syria who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of 12 years of war. For 1,000 CZK (about €40), we are able to buy an average family a month's worth of food. We also provide families with stoves, fuel allowances, tents, supply tarpaulins, nails and rope. We repair existing water and sanitation systems and support makeshift tent schools for children.

"In the coming weeks, we plan to provide financial assistance to buy basic food items and winterization equipment for at least 30,000 more families in Syria. We also plan to provide financial support to repair destroyed houses. We will rebuild schools and continue to support a sector that we have been supporting for a long time. Our agrarian team will continue to help local farmers to replant their crops despite the disaster that has struck the country," says Jan Mrkvička, Director of the Relief and Development Department

Also in Türkiye, in cooperation with our partners and local authorities, we plan to expand our efforts in the coming days. Our teams will continue to distribute food vouchers, hygiene kits and the provision of other basic items. We are also preparing a shipment of tarpaulins, tents and other much-needed supplies, currently in short supply.

Autor: People in Need

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