9 February 2023 - Syria, Türkiye

Trapped without food: How Syria is grappling with one of world’s worst earthquakes this century

Nada*, 11 months, sleeping in blankets in a shelter in Syria supported by a Save the Children local partner CreditKhalil Ashawi/Save the Children

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AMMAN, 9 Feb 2023 -Millions of children across northwestern Syria remain urgently in need of food, shelter and warm clothes three days after a deadly earthquake struck areas of Syria and Türkiye.  

In North West Syria, Save the Children and partners have begun responding, providing emergency food rations, food for search and rescue workers and tents for children to keep warm and dry. The response in the North West was boosted today by news of the first UN aid convoy crossing from Türkiye – but needs are vast and growing daily across affected areas.  

“The situation across northwestern Syria is like no other crisis in the world right now. From losing family members to homes, to no food or clean water, the ripple effects of this disaster have affected every single child,” said Kathryn Achilles, Advocacy, Media and Communications Director for Save the Children Syria. 

The UN trucks arriving to support children in the North West today will provide vital assistance to desperate children and families, but these supplies are only the tip of the iceberg of what's required.  More efforts are needed to ensure that all children receive the assistance they desperately need.”

Noor*, 10, fled fighting in Aleppo and was living in Idlib when a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria at 4am on Monday, followed by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hours later. The earthquakes are estimated to have impacted 23 million people, many of whom are children like Noor. 

"We went outside, and the ground was shaking, and there was a crack in the kitchen’s ceiling, and we were so scared we left the house,” Noor said, who is now living in a temporary shelter. “We went to the mosque, and they moved us here [to the temporary shelter]. We need clothes and heaters. It’s getting really cold.” 

Save the Children is working closely with partners to provide heating supplies and temporary shelters, which are furnished with mattresses, insulated floors, blankets, clothing for children and wool hats, for families impacted by the earthquakes.  

“We are currently in Idlib, the situation [here] is tragic. The need is immense, and surpasses the current capacities of the local Syrian humanitarian organizations in the north of Syria,” said Anwar*, an aid worker at a partner organisation in North West Syria. “We hope everyone [will] continue to extend help to support the many families that are still out on the street, whether in Idlib or the surrounding towns.  

“We hope international organizations and the international community to help us get through this crisis, this disaster, and assist us in bringing in heavy machinery, help those still stuck under the rubble, to help those still alive and provide them with medical assistance.” 

In North West Syria, Save the Children is working closely with partner organisations to assess the scale of the damage and provide vital support children desperately need. 


*Names changed to protect privacy  



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