February 11, 2023

Syrian Humanitarian and Relief Organizations are Standing Alone

Statement by Syrian and Non-Syrian Organizations and Groups on the Current Situation in Northwest Syria following the Türkiye-Syria Earthquakes

An Immediate International Intervention is Needed to Provide Humanitarian Relief to the Affected Areas in Northwest Syria

As more than 96 hours have passed since the initial earthquake hit both Türkiye and Syria, the hope of rescuing more lives dwindles drastically, especially since international rescue teams have not been able to access Northwest Syria despite the time sensitivity to do search and rescue operations to find any survivors under the rubble.

Local teams in Northwest Syria are literally standing alone responding to this catastrophe. Usually, humanitarian organizations and coalitions based in southern Türkiye would provide all the necessary support such as supply lines, logistics, program management, and operations. As a result of the earthquakes, the coordination efforts led by Türkiye- based bodies have been severely affected, leading to a major disruption of the humanitarian mechanisms. A tragically significant number of humanitarian workers from these supporting organizations and coalitions have lost their lives, while the ones who survived are working tirelessly in dire conditions either from shelters or inside their vehicles, hoping their voices might be heard.

A catastrophe of such magnitude requires a concerted international effort. The preliminary statistics regarding Northwest Syria, published at the time of writing, are disastrous: the death toll approaches 2,030 and is expected to increase as hours go by. Over 11,000 injured people were rescued and admitted to the overstretched hospitals. More than 2,000 residential buildings were destroyed and 5,100 buildings have been partially damaged, leaving 11,000 families homeless across the northern region in Syria.

Humanitarian workers and rescue teams in Northwest Syria are currently working hard, in extremely difficult conditions, amid severe shortages of capacities and equipment, and limited capacity of the health sector.

While we highly appreciate the deployment of international efforts and support in response to the mounting humanitarian needs in southern Türkiye, as well as the current delivery of international rescue teams and humanitarian aid to Damascus, the unaddressed extensive damage in Northwest Syria is absolutely devastating. Local rescue teams in Northwest Syria are still operating, on their own until this very moment, using their limited local capacities and resources without any immediate international rescue teams or aid convoys needed to properly respond in over 56 areas affected by the disaster. Bureaucratic and political obstacles delay the international response to the tragic situation in Northwest Syria, costing many innocent lives that could otherwise be saved.

The undersigned organizations urge the following:

  • To the UN Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres, and the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths:

We urge the United Nations Secretariat to address a direct mandate to all international mechanisms and agencies, to support overcoming the logistical difficulties and enable the use of all viable border crossings to reach the affected population in Northwest Syria, specifically by:

    1. Directing the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) for prompt intervention across borders to Northwest Syria, and directing all available international teams to access along with their equipment to support civil defense teams in search and rescue efforts for those who are still trapped under the rubble waiting to be found and rescued;

    2. Directing the United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination Mechanism (UNDAC) to immediately intervene across the border from Türkiye to all affected sites in Northwest Syria, to coordinate the response efforts proportionally to the scale of the emergency requirements;

    3. Allocating the appropriate amount of funds from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (UNCERF) to the response in Northwest Syria, ensuring a maximum flexibility in light of the critical situation of the cross-border response to Northwest Syria, and allotting all the required resources to Syrian humanitarian organizations operating in Northwest Syria;

    4. Directing all UN agencies and their relief programs to respond with the full necessary flexibility in light of the time-sensitive emergency situation, overcoming logistical and bureaucratic hurdles and using all the crossing points in southern Türkiye towards the Syrian lands.

  • To the European Union:

Including Northwest Syria as part of the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism that has been activated in Syria, especially vis-à-vis the entry of emergency supplies, equipment and rescue teams across borders to support local rescue teams in Northwestern Syria.

  • To the United States of America:

    Using all the US logistical capabilities in the Middle East, in coordination with neighboring countries, to transfer aid to their local warehouses and provide all the needed assistance regarding logistical support to all humanitarian agencies to overcome constraints in accessing Northwest Syria.

  • To the Turkish authorities:

    Working on repairing and reopening the damaged roads leading to the Syrian crossings, and providing all facilitations for immediate access of the international rescue teams, medical teams and all the equipment necessary to carry local search and rescue operations in Northwest Syria.

  • To all humanitarian funding mechanisms, donors and international partners:

    Providing substantial financial injections specifically to the earthquake response, exceeding the previously allocated amounts to the programs specified within the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan for the year 2023, commensurating with the scale of the humanitarian response to the earthquake, and addressing the medium and long-term consequences of the multiple earthquakes, especially vis- à-vis housing rehabilitation, in order to alleviate the foreseeable exacerbation of the already raging shelter problems in Northwest Syria.

The Co-ordinations bodies/Networks/Alliances Signed

1. American Relief Coalition for Syria 2. Asociación Coordinadora Comunitaria de Servicios para la Salud, A.C.C.S.S. 3. Caesar Families Association 4. CRGR Centro América 5. CSOs’ Initiative for Localisation and Optimization of response in Yemen 6. DSV- UOSSM 7. Gaza Urban Agriculture Platform( GUPAP) 8. Idleb Health Directorate 9. National Alliance of Humanitarian Actors Bangladesh (NAHAB) 10.National Society for Earthquake Technology – Nepal ((NSET) 11.Nigeria Network of NGOs 12.Palestinian Farmers Union 13.Palestinian NGOs Network 14.Syrian Alliance for Volunteer Teams 15.Syrian European Forum 16.Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) 17.Syrian Network in Denamrk 18.Syrian Networks League – SNL 19.The Syrian Charities and Associations Network of the UK (SCAN UK) 20.Union of German Syrian Associations 21.Voices For Displaced Syrians Forum 22.Women and Child Protection Network 23.Women Protection Network 24.YDN-Yemeni Development Network for NGOs 25.Young Global Citizens Assembly e.V. 26.YWCA- Palestine

Humanitarian and Civil Society Organizations

27.AblAblam Community Committee 28.ABS DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION FOR WOMAN AND CHILD 29.Access Center for Human Rights – ACHR 30.Adam Association for the development and development of the family & society 31.Advance Foundation for Development 32.AFKAR Organization for Educational and Cultural Development 33.African Community Society 34.Alameen for humanitarian support 35.Alataa charitable society 36.Albonian Almarsos Humanitarian Organization 37.AL-DAMEER ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 38.Alghad Charity 39.Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society 40.Alseeraj Sweden 41.Al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation 42.Alzahraa Society 43.Amal Healing and Advocacy Center 44.Amwaj Association for Community Development and Improvement 45.And hope remains 46.ANURDO 47.Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) 48.Asociación para la educación y el desarrollo 49.Assistance Mission for Africa 50.ATAA Humanitarian Relief Association 51.Atfaluna society for deaf children 52.Bait Lahia Youth Association Center 53.Baitona for Community Development 54.Barokupot Ganochetona Foundation-BGF 55.Basamat for Development 56.Basma Society For Culture & Arts 57.Basmeh & Zeitooneh 58.Bassmet Hayat Association 59.Baytna 60.Big Heart 61.BINAA Organization for Development 62.Bisan Center for Research and Development 63.Bonyan for Youth and Development 64.Bousla for Development & Innovation 65.COAR 66.Community Media Center 67.Culture free thought organisation 68.CWLRCP 69.Darya Organization 70.Dawlaty 71.Defence for Children International 72.Demokratik Kadın Örgütü 73.Deutsch Syrischer Verein DSV 74.Dhaka Ahsania Mission 75.Doctors Worldwide 76.Dozana 77.Dr.Haider Abdel Shafi Center 78.EIPISA 79.Elaf for reilaf and development 80.Equity and Empowerment 81.Eradah Organization to Combat Torture and Forced Disappearance 82.EvE Association 83.FAYA Nepal 84.FECODESA 85.Field Medical Foundation 86.Finjan 87.FUDEP Fomento del desarrollo Popular 88.Fundación Halü Bienestar Humano 89.Fundación Sahed 90.Future Association For Development And Environment 91.Future Resilience and Development Foundation (FRAD) 92.Gaza Urban & Peri-urban Agricultural Platform (GUPAP) (GUPAP) 93.Ghiras Al-Nahda 94.Global Organization for Civil Society Advancement 95.Green cranks Team 96.Greenmind Initiative for Agriculture and Sustainable Environment 97.Greenspring Development Initiative 98.Hand in Hand for Aid & Development – HIHFAD 99.Hathi Hayati Volunteering Group 100. Health And Nutrition Development Society-HANDS 101. Hope Revival Organization 102. Horan Foundation 103. Hospitals Advocacy Campaign 104. Human Access-Yemen 105. Humanista Volunteer Team 106. Humanitarian Development Aid Org.-HUDA 107. Humanitarian Relief and Development Council(HRDC) 108. Humanitrian care Charity 109. Hurras network 110. I am for my country foundation 111. Ihsan Relief and Development 112. Impact civil Society Research and Development 113. Independent 114. Indonesian Development-Humanitarian Alliance 115. INSAN Association Defending Human Rights 116. Insan Charity Organization 117. International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation (IBC) 118. International Humanitarian Relief (IHR) 119. International humanitarian relief-IHR 120. jameiat bashir alsalam lileamal alansanii 121. Jana Watan 122. Jewels Trust Fund 123. JOURNALISTS RIGHTS ADVOCATING ASSOCIATION 124. Jumpstart Refugee Talent 125. Justice & Sustainable Development 126. Justice paths 127. Khadija Foundation for Development 128. Lamsat ward 129. Lawyers and doctors for Human Rights LDHR 130. Lifeline Humanitarian Association 131. Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS) 132. MAAN ORG. 133. Maram Foundation for Relief and Development 134. Mattar 135. Mc 136. MedGlobal 137. Media 138. Medical Mercy Foundation 139. Mehad 140. nabd alhayat charitable society 141. Nabd Development and Evolution Organization(NDEO) 142. Nabni 143. Nahda Makers Organization 144. Nasaem Khair Organization (NKO) 145. Neda’a foundation for development 146. New Followership New Africa Initiative 147. Nexus Action 148. Nhs Salford Royal hospital 149. Nima Relief 150. Olive Branch 151. One heart 152. Organization ZOOM IN 153. Palestinian Al Nakheel Association for Progress and Development 154. PARC 155. Pcrod 156. Peace and Justice for Syria 157. Physicians across continents PAC 158. Progress Organization for Development 159. public aid society 160. Qurantaj 161. Rahma World Wide 162. Relief Experts Association (UDER) 163. Roya Assosiation For Development Abilities 164. Sadad humanitarian organization 165. Safa Development Assessment 166. Salsabil Charity Association 167. SAMS 168. Sanabel Organization/ Başaklar Derneği 169. Science and cultural center 170. Seraj Al-Aqsa voluntary team 171. shuaa developmental foundation 172. SKT organization 173. Social Devlopment International SDI 174. Society ov women graduates in Gaza strip 175. Souriyat Across Borders (SAB) 176. Space of hope organization 177. Space Of Peace 178. Srd 179. Sroor 180. SSRD 181. syria students body 182. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression 183. Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets) 184. Syrian Expatriates Medical Assosiation – SEMA 185. Syrian forum 186. Syrian Network in Denmark 187. Syrian Sweden association 188. Syrian Woman Association 189. Syrian Women’s Network 190. Taalufhumaneteam 191. Tamdeen Youth Foundation 192. The Day After 193. The National Children’s Cancer Society 194. The National Organization of Yemeni Reporters SADA 195. The Productive Youths Development Initiative 196. The Syria Campaign 197. The Syrian Legal Development Programme -SLDP 198. The female survivors union 199. Tomorrow Foundation For sustainable development & humanitarian relief 200. Uluslararası Arap Akademisyenleri Derneği 201. VEER Development Organization 202. Violet Organization for Relief and Development 203. Volunteer future team 204. Volunteers Without Borders in Denmark 205. Waer Waters Charity Foundation 206. Watan Foundation 207. Wedad 208. Welfare Organization for Humanitarian Work 209. WHOSD 210. WINGS Relief International 211. Woman Support Association 212. Woman Support Association 213. Women Now for Development 214. Women of inestimable values foundation 215. Women’s Board ECS 216. World Vision International 217. Zad Aljnna 218. ZENOBIA ORG 219. Zeyd bin sabit