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138 Syrian Organizations Call for a Comprehensive and Non-Discriminatory Response to Deadly February 6 Earthquakes

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Concerned entities must take action to guarantee that all quake-hit areas, without exception, have access to relief operations and humanitarian aid and that aid delivery is not hampered or blocked by any political or military party


Search operations for survivors of the February 9, 2023 earthquake in Jinderes district in Afrin countryside. Source: The Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets)
In the early hours of 6 February 2023, a massive earthquake hit several areas in Syria and Turkey, prompting a humanitarian catastrophe as indicated by the initial assessment of the devastation. Situation overviews confirmed the urgent need for a comprehensive rescue and relief operation in all affected Syrian areas, especially those located in the northern and northwestern parts of the country.

However, several factors continue to endanger survivors and complicate rescue efforts. In addition to the large-scale destruction caused by the earthquake and the harsh wintry weather, the complex political and military situation in Syria—whereby several of the hit areas remain controlled by different military entities, has prevented rescue teams from entering these areas and deprived their suffering populations of sufficient life-affirming aid. Desperate in the face of the calamity, civilians have taken matters into their own hands in the province of Idlib, Afrin’s district of Jindiris, and various Aleppo neighborhoods. Depending on the little resources they have, civilians are digging for the hundreds of people struggling for their lives under rubble and collapsed buildings, especially as efforts by several local rescue and emergency organizations continue to be stretched beyond capacity.

Considering the current state of affairs, the international community, regional states, and actors in Syria are obliged to use all land and air routes to immediately deliver humanitarian assistance and deploy rescue crews to afflicted areas. Further delays threaten only to worsen the humanitarian conditions in these areas, which are already struggling with the woes of the ongoing conflict and consequent lack of life-saving resources.

Notably, the Syrian and Turkish governments and the Ankara-backed factions—active in northern Syria’s hit areas that Turkey occupies—bear the primary responsibility for facilitating aid deliveries, ensuring the deliveries are not hampered or blocked, and guaranteeing that aid is fairly distributed. Notably, noncompliance with these obligations is a blatant violation of humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law.

As the full scale of the disaster continues to unfold, the undersigned Syrian organizations express their solidarity with the earthquake victims across Syria, extend their deepest condolences to bereaved families, and wish the injured a fast recovery. Additionally, considering the restrictions imposed on rescue efforts and aid deliveries, the undersigned organizations demand that:

The U.S. government uses its influence to press regional countries and parties in the Syrian conflict to deliver aid without further delays through border crossings in northwestern and eastern Syria, including the al-Yarubiyah/Tal Koçer crossing, which can operate as a delivery conduit to remaining hit areas.
Parties in the Syrian conflict and various authorities across the country, as well as the Turkish government, cease hostilities and allow relief teams and humanitarian aid to reach all affected areas without exception and not obstruct or prevent aid deliveries, whether coming from abroad or from the rest of the Syrian regions.
States neighboring Syria, including Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iraqi Kurdistan, open border crossings for aid deliveries and rescue teams, and ease heavy machinery entry measures.
The United Nations (UN) deploy first responders and humanitarian aid to affected areas, as well as contribute to search efforts for people still missing under the rubble.
The Turkish government:
Cooperate with the local, national, and international authorities to deliver aid to affected areas, expedite rescue efforts to save people trapped under debris, and take all necessary protection measures to ensure the safety of populations in the areas it occupies;
Grant medical and relief teams access to the affected areas, lead response efforts, and warrant the entry of wounded Syrians to Turkish territories through the borders.
Organizations and Associations Signing the Statement:
Act for Afrin
Adil Center For Human Rights
Afrin Platform
Afrin Post Network
Ajyal Organization for Development
Al-Asil Association for Development
Alghaith For Development
Al-Hasakah Organization for Relief and Deve
Al-Khaboor Association
Allied for peace
Al-Raja Organization for Relief and Development
Alriyf Organization
Alzajel Organization
Amal for development
Analysis and Strategic Studies Organization
Arak of East organization
Aras Charity
Areej organization development
ASHNA for Development
Ashti Center for Building Peace
Association Culturelle Kurde de Genève
Assyrian society for helping and development
Ayadi Moubsera Organization
Baladna organization for civil society
Balsam Center For Health Education
Better Hope for Tabqa
Better Tomorrow organization
Bridges of peace for development
CLEMENCY Organization
Community Solidarity Organization
M Organization for Development
DAN for Relief and Development
Diaa Al-Amal Association for people with special needs
Dijla Organization for Development and Environment
Ebdaa Organization for Development
Edraak Organization For Development and peace
Ella Organization For Development and Peacebuilding
Emaar Mansura
Environment and Water Association
Euphrates for Relief and Development
Euphrates Hope Organization
Ezdina Organization
Faidh development organization
Fajr Organization
Fazaa for Syria Campaign
FDO – Inmaa al Fourat
For Feminist Organization
For Them Organisation
Free lawyers Bar
Freedom Defense Center
Friends Charity Association
Future Hands Organization Abdo Habash
Green Tress
Green Women’s Association
Haneen Alfurat
Happy Land
Hevy for relief and development
Hope Makers
Hope without Limit
House of Citizenship Organisation
Human Hope Team
Human Rights organization Afrin- Syria
Human rights organization in al-Jazeera
Jan center for special needs
Jasmine Association
Jian Charity Association
Jomard Organization for Construction and Development
Khayr charity
Khutwa association
Kurdish Swiss Alliance
Lamsat alkhier for relief and development
Lasting Peace organization
LÊLÛN Association for Victims
Lights For Development and Construction
Mahabad Organisation for Human rights MOHR
Malva For Arts and culture
Manara Organization
Mary Association for Culture, Arts, and Environment
Mitan Center for the Revival of Civil Society
Mitra for Researches and Human Rights
Multka Alnhren Organisation
Nabd Team
Nawras development organization
North and East Syria mine action office
Nujin Society for Development Community
Organization of Zagon
Oxygen Shabab
Peace and Civil Society Center
PÊL- Civil Waves
Qudwa organization
Ras al-Ain/Serê Kaniyê Platform
Reng for development
Rights Defense Initiative organization/ RDI
Roj Kar for relief and development
RojHilat for Relief and Development
Sanad Humanitarian Organization
Sara organization to combat violence against women
Sawaed Organization for Development
Sel Development Organization
Shams Organization for Rehabilitation and Development
Share for community development
Shawishka association for women
Slav organization for civil activities
Stability Support Centre
Swaedna Organization for Relief and Development
Synergy Association for Victims
Syria Center for Development
Syria Help Organization
Syrian Cancer Society
Syrians for Truth and Justice – STJ
Taa marbouta
Tel-Abyad Forum for civil society
The four seasons
Total foundation for Relief and Development
Tree of Life
Watan movement
Wheat & Olive Platform
Women of hope
Yasna Organization
Zameen for development and peacebuilding