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People of Syria still face huge challenges one year on from devastating earthquake

One year after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Syria and Türkiye, Trócaire and its partners continue vital assistance, rebuilding schools and homes, and providing psychosocial support to those affected by the aftermath of the disaster.

Trócaire’s partners deliver emergency preparedness training. Photo: GOPA-DERD Trócaire’s partners deliver emergency preparedness training. Photo: GOPA-DERD

Early on the morning of 6th February 2023, a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit northern Syria and southern Türkiye. The quake, and the thousands of aftershocks that followed, killed more than 40,000 people, destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings, including hospitals and schools, and badly damaged vital infrastructure.

This disaster had a particularly devastating impact on the population in Syria who had already endured twelve years of conflict which continues to this day with airstrikes again hitting the country in the last few days.

Trócaire responded to the massive humanitarian needs in Syria in the aftermath of the earthquake through our partners Caritas Syria and GOPA. Staff on the ground ran blood donation campaigns to cover blood bank’s needs and support those who were injured. Our partners supported families who were forced to evacuate their homes and were in need of shelter. Teams distributed mattresses, blankets, drinking water, milk powder, hygiene kits and food baskets to families.

The Irish Emergency Alliance, of which Trócaire is a member, launched an appeal calling on the Irish public to help support people impacted by the devastating event.

One year on from this catastrophe, hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced in Syria, but it’s a time not only to reflect on the challenges still being faced but also to celebrate the progress made in rebuilding shattered communities. Behind the scenes of recovery efforts are countless individuals and organisations, including Caritas Syria and GOPA who have been instrumental in providing assistance and hope to those affected.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the need for psychosocial support (PSS) was crucial as survivors dealt with the emotional scars left by the disaster. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our partners over 5,000 individuals have received psychological first aid, offering a lifeline of support during their darkest moments. Our partners have also delivered emergency preparedness training which will help save lives in future emergency situations.

Moreover, more than 3,000 households have benefited from cash assistance, providing essential resources to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. This assistance has been instrumental in helping families regain their footing and move forward with dignity and resilience.

As communities work towards returning to some sense of normality, schools and apartments have become symbols of progress and hope. Schools, once badly damaged by the earthquake, are now being rebuilt, ensuring that children have access to safe and nurturing learning environments. Similarly, apartments, which were badly affected in the disaster, are being made fit for purpose again, providing families with a sense of stability and security as they rebuild their lives.

The road ahead for the people of Syria will continue to be a difficult one and the needs are many but Trócaire and our partners will continue to support with crucial assistance in the months and years ahead

Trócaire’s partners have been instrumental in rebuilding schools in earthquake affected areas in Syria. Photo: GOPA-DERD Trócaire’s partners have been instrumental in rebuilding schools in earthquake affected areas in Syria. Photo: GOPA-DERD
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