Type of response:
Multiple earthquakes hit southern Turkey and Syria early morning on 6 February. The one with the most severe impact had 7.7 magnitude, and its tectonic epicenter was in Gaziantep; Adana at a depth of 24.075 kilometers, with tremors felt in varying intensities across the Syrian Arab Republic. Following the earthquake, multiple aftershocks were reported. Several governorates in north, central, and coastal parts of Syria were affected with Aleppo being the most impacted; although Lattakia, Tartous, Hama, and Idleb, were also considerably affected. The earthquake had a devastating effect leading to injuries, casualties, displacement and homelessness.
The earthquake significantly increased the existing humanitarian needs in the affected regions caused by the conflict, economic hardship, a cholera outbreak, and harsh winter weather, including heavy rain and snow.
The humanitarian response was already largely overstretched with a funding gap of 48% identified for the last quarter of 2022 (US$371.1 is required out of 802.1 million). In Northwest Syria alone, 4.1 million people (the majority women and children) depend on humanitarian assistance today. Across Syria, the total number of people in need for humanitarian assistance is 15.3 million (HNO 2023).
The Joint Response
The Syria Earthquake Joint Response aims to address the needs of people affected by the earthquake in three governorates in Syria (Aleppo, Lattakia and Idleb). These locations were selected based on the severity of the damage and the number of people affected. The joint response provides support to people in need through a multi-sectoral approach.
Food Security and Livelihoods: 40,250 people are provided with support related to food security and livelihoods.
Health: 24,000 are provided with health support by operating mobile health clinics and medical teams and by providing medical items (medications, medical consumables) to the mobile health clinic and mobile medical teams (and associated Primary Health Centers if required).
Protection, including Mental Health Psychosocial Support: 7,400 people are supported through protection services. The joint response focuses on case management to households, referring individuals to other services, child activities, MHPSS sessions and awareness raising. A protection desk will be established to provide people with information, including a referral system. Child protection activities, psychosocial support (PSS) and Provision of Psychological First Aid (PFA) are provided.
Shelter / Non-Food Items: 9,060 people are supported with shelter and non-food items. As part of the joint response, winterisation items (e.g. clothing, blankets), non-food items, fuel and baby kits, tents at household level and collective centres will be distributed.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: 32,544 people receive support related to water, sanitation and hygiene. Members in the joint response engage in water trucking, the distribution of hygiene kits (including soap, washing powder, washing liquid, sanitary pads and tissues and/or water /cleaning supplies to both displaced individuals as well as collective centers/informal hosting settlements) and in the repair of the damaged water network(s) that supplies water in Aleppo.
Multi-purpose Cash: 6,850 people are provided with unconditional, unrestricted cash transfers.
Photo: Plan International