Update on the Syrian Earthquake Emergency Response

May 5, 2023

Since the earthquake on 6th February, Jesuit Refugee Service Syria has been able to reach out and support more than 40,000 men, women and children, including a baby, Zain, whose mother fled Aleppo when she was heavily pregnant with him.

When the JRS team met 2-week-old Zain and his mother, they were sheltering in a squalid, unfurnished room with no food. Both mother and baby were hospitalised due to malnourishment and JRS was able to support them with a food basket and help with medical costs.

Zain is a symbol of fragile hope for Syria and a symbol of the resilience of the Syrian people. His story is also an example of the valuable work JRS is doing across Syria and the impact it is making in the aftermath of the earthquake, 12 years of war, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

The earthquake has negatively impacted emotional well-being and made the daily struggle for survival worse. According to JRS' Country Director, Fr Tony O’Riordan SJ, “Not only have thousands of concrete buildings collapsed or been damaged in the earthquake, leaving thousands of people homeless, the earthquake has also left millions with a sense of fear and new dread. They yearn for a sense of safety, for food and for shelter, and for hope in a better tomorrow".

JRS is intervening in the short and long-term to reach over 100,000 people in Aleppo, combining food aid, health care and psychosocial support, which is delivered by a committed team of volunteers, many of whom have been affected by the earthquake themselves.

So far, JRS has given food parcels to 12,000 families, provided psychological first aid to 2,000 children, and accompanied / supported 150 internally displaced families as they attempt to rebuild their lives.

JRS Syria expresses its profound gratitude to all its donors for supporting it its mission of serving, accompanying and advocating for our brothers and sisters in Syria during these unprecedented difficult times.

You can donate to the Turkey-Syria appeal via the Jesuit Missions UK website here.

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