ACT joins 34 other agencies in demanding unfettered access and massive scale-up of humanitarian response in Syria

ACT member MECC (the Middle East Council of Churches) is responding to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey on Feb 6, 2023. MECC is providing mattresses and blankets, as well as hot meals, to affected families, and is working to secure additional supplies to meet the needs. Photo: MECC

ACT Alliance is one of 35 national Syrian NGOs and international NGOs to release a statement today calling for “an urgent scaleup in support and for immediate action to be taken to secure humanitarian assistance to the populations affected by the earthquake in Syria.”

The statement notes that only 5% of the affected areas in northwestern Syria (NWS) were reached by humanitarian teams in the early days, leading to potential survivors under the rubble not being reached in 95% of the region. 

“Conscious that this tragedy has impacted the whole humanitarian response, we express our deep admiration and support to the humanitarian organizations, volunteers and all humanitarian workers on the ground who are shouldering the response while being affected themselves,” the statement reads.  Today, ACT heard that one partner agency is working on the response while over 33% of its staff were directly impacted, with many living in cars or out in the open for fear that their homes will collapse in the more than 500 aftershocks since the massive quake on February 6, 2023.

“The earthquake has brought new suffering, increased the number of people in need, exacerbated existing needs, and hampered the ongoing response. We see new unaccompanied children, collective shelters and existing camps are now full of people with no food, no water, no blankets, no heating options. What is needed is more assistance, more access, and more funding. Redirecting existing resources and funding from other parts of Syria is NOT the solution,” the NGOs state.

Photo: MECC

The statement concludes, “NGOs call for the international community to stay above politics, put humanitarian principles at the center and move forward an urgent and immediate scaleup of the humanitarian support to relieve the suffering of the affected populations and support those helping them.”

Read the full statement here.