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February 12, 2023

ActionAid says that local rescue teams in northwest Syria are operating without international support, in worsening conditions with limited resources. 

In this war-torn region which already has millions of displaced people, the scale of this tragedy is unprecedented, and the situation is deteriorating daily.

Racha Nasreddine, Regional Director for ActionAid in the Arab Region, said:  

“Local rescue teams in northwest Syria are still operating on their own, using limited local capacities and resources without any immediate international help to respond in over 56 areas affected by the disaster. Obstacles delay the international response to the tragic situation in northwest Syria, costing many innocent lives that could otherwise be saved.

The northwest of Syria is home to 4.2 million people who live in temporary shelters, including tents and fragile homes, and have already been displaced multiple times. It is critical that their needs are not overlooked in this crisis. 

At this critical time, local and international response teams inside the affected areas must be supported to respond and their safety guaranteed. Aid should be distributed equally to all those affected by the earthquake, based on need and regardless of who controls the territory they are in, in accordance with internationally recognized humanitarian principles. 

All parties to the conflict inside Syria and neighboring states (including Turkey) must ensure that humanitarian assistance and protection reach the most at risk in affected communities fairly, efficiently, quickly and safely in light of the time-sensitive emergency, by overcoming logistical and bureaucratic constraints.”

Over 29,000 people have already died in this crisis, and millions more have lost their homes and livelihoods. Survivors and local teams face unprecedented hardships in the coming weeks and months. 

ActionAid, through our local partner, Violet, on the ground in northwest Syria, will continue to provide shelter, food, and protection to survivors, as well as safe spaces and services for women and girls.  

ActionAid is calling on the international community to fund the humanitarian response adequately, ensuring that financial support exceeds that previously allocated under the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP 2023) in line with the scale of the emergency. This includes prioritization of women’s and girls’ assistance, especially regarding gender-based violence, and for women’s leadership to be at the forefront of the response.  


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Notes to editor 

Spokespeople available: 

Racha Nasreddine is the Director for ActionAid in the Arab Region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia. Previously, she led the response to the Syrian crisis in 2015 in neighboring countries (Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt) and within the diaspora. She has local and international experience working across multiple sectors and countries in the Middle East and North Africa region on socioeconomic development, human rights, and cultural relations.  Racha speaks Arabic and English- Currently in Jordan. 

Razmi Farook is the Regional Director for Asia and Humanitarian at ActionAid. Razmi has served in the humanitarian and development sector for 20 years, working extensively on the regional and country level in the areas of disaster management, resilience, climate change, the Syria crisis, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and on issues related to migrant, refugees, and women.  Razmi speaks English – Currently in Arusha, Tanzania. 

Sabine Abi Aad is the Regional Communication and Campaigns Lead of ActionAid Arab Region.  She has more than 20 years of experience in communication and, advocacy, project management. She is passionate about women and youth leadership, achieving social justice and gender equality. Sabine speaks Arabic and English- Based in Beirut, Lebanon. 

About ActionAid 

ActionAid is a global federation that works with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries.  We want to see a just and sustainable world in which everyone enjoys the right to a dignified life and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work for social justice and gender equality, and poverty eradication. 

Support Families impacted by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

People in the regions impacted by the earthquake already lived in very vulnerable situations, having fled their homes in war-torn Syria. The devastation caused by this tragic disaster will mean they have experienced one disaster on top of another, leaving them in a compounded humanitarian crisis. We are uniquely placed, through our women- and young people-led human rights-based approach, to make a distinct contribution in the response to this emergency, prioritizing highly vulnerable groups, including refugees, female-headed households, and people with disabilities. Take action with us today!