Syria · 13 February 2023 · 2 min
Aleppo, Qadmous and Hama, Syria, 10 February 2023 – Last Monday’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria has resulted in a massive loss of life and damage. “The death toll surpassed 20,000 on Thursday, a grim milestone that makes it among the deadliest since 2000,” reported The New York Times.
In parts of Syria where the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) operates, agencies have mobilised rapidly to assist as hundreds of buildings were destroyed or partially damaged in 17 sub-districts and critical water, sanitation, health and transportation infrastructure were impacted. People are in fear and shock.
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) – AKDN’s emergency response arm – has been working closely with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to assess and respond to the crisis. From the onset, in coordination with local authorities, AKAH’s trained emergency response teams have supported search and rescue operations; and helped evacuate and relocate people to safer areas. These teams are also working with engineers to assess the impact to homes and helping families to identify living alternatives. Food and emergency supplies, including blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits, have been distributed to the displaced.
The health system has been supporting people with first aid and tertiary care but is in a state of depleting capacity with the passage of time. The Aga Khan Health Services have been conducting telemedicine checks for households that have been temporarily relocated, to assess potential health needs and the impact of psycho-social trauma. Medical teams are following up with affected community members to provide counselling and support.
The Aga Khan Medical Centre in Salamieh began operations on Sunday 12 February with targeted support programmes for those who have been displaced or affected by the quake.
While providing urgent humanitarian relief, AKDN is also assessing the needs and requirements to transition from emergency response to early recovery and eventual rehabilitation efforts. It is working with local and international partners on a joint appeal for resources to respond to the situation.
AKAH works closely with Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), our international crisis response and disaster risk management agency. Donations to FOCUS can help support this ongoing work and make a significant difference. Donate online or contact the following offices:
In the UK and Europe:
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For other countries, please donate through one of the above offices, or contact AKDN to discuss other international giving options.