Turkiye-Syria Earthquake: Pledges come at a make-or-break moment

Published: 20th March 2023

In response to the EU’s donor conference for Turkiye and Syria earthquakes, Oxfam calls on the international community to leave no one behind in providing aid to the communities affected. 

Şengül Akçar, Oxfam KEDV Executive Director said:

“The pledges come at a make-or-break moment. Torrential floods in recent days have swept away temporary accommodations and flooded tents, bringing more despair for the survivors of the earthquake and the risk of disease outbreak. As we reach the 50-day mark since the quake, we need the international community to deliver on the pledges promised to prevent a double tragedy so every person affected can rebuild their lives. 

“It is key that donors support an inclusive response. Women need to be at the forefront of recovery efforts, to be supported to empower themselves by engaging with small business and employment opportunities, and to feel safe. We cannot risk gender equality being wound back.” 

Moutaz Adham, Oxfam in Syria Country Director said:

“This earthquake has pushed people over the edge when they were already scrambling to meet their basic needs after twelve years of conflict. 

“This aid will be a lifeline for many Syrians who were already struggling with hunger, skyrocketing inflation and poverty when disaster hit. But we need a long-term solution that goes beyond just humanitarian aid – farmers must be able to farm again, and bakers bake.  Donors must display the same generosity when delivering on aid pledges for Syria – we cannot have risk another half-empty promise in 2023.”  

Notes to editors

In Turkiye, torrential rains and unprecedented flooding last week saw thousands of people living in tents being evacuated and raised concerns of disease outbreak with many tented cities and temporary accommodations still lacking showers and toilets.  

Oxfam KEDV is already responding to last month’s earthquakes, and has been working with the National Disaster Response Platform and a network of women’s cooperatives to facilitate the distribution of food, drinking water, temporary shelter, blankets, sanitary kits and powerbanks. Community kitchens have also been established in various locations, including in Sanliurfa.    

In Aleppo, one of the affected areas in Syria, an Oxfam survey found that three in every four people have resorted to skipping meals since the earthquake. Across the entire country, four in ten Syrians – or nearly 9 million people – were affected by the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit last month, compounding an already acute humanitarian crisis.  

Oxfam interviewed 300 displaced people in government-held areas of Aleppo between 2 and 8 March. The survey found:  

  • Nearly 70 percent said their homes had been partially destroyed.  

  • Over 65 percent said they were relying on aid from NGOs to survive.  

  • Twenty-two percent had lost their jobs or sources of income; and  

  • 37 percent had borrowed money to cover their families’ needs.  

Oxfam delivered clean drinking water to 46 locations and installed 40 water tanks in shelters. Oxfam distributed over 2,250 hygiene kits including soap and sanitary pads. We are also fixing taps and toilets in shelters and supporting safety checks to buildings. Oxfam aims to reach 800K of the most impacted people over the coming three years with lifesaving aid. 

The international community only delivered half of the funds needed for Syria’s UN Humanitarian Appeal for 2022. It is likely, the same trend will occur for 2023. 

Contact information

Jade Tenwick | Brussels, Belgium | jade.tenwick@oxfam.org | mobile +32 473 562260   

Julia Manresa | Brussels, Belgium | julia.manresa@oxfam.org  | mobile +32 473 87 44 26

Lily Partland in Türkiye | lilyp@oxfam.org.au | Mobile: +90 536 794 0831 | WhatsApp: +61 418 118 687 

Dania Kareh in Syria | dkareh@oxfam.org.uk | 963 958001242

For updates, please follow @NewsFromOxfam and @Oxfam

Please support Oxfam's Turkiye-Syria Earthquake Appeal.