Over 5 million displaced in Syria by quake, says UNHC


Published: 2023-02-11 11:15

Last Updated: 2024-07-14 14:11

UNHCR/Hameed Maarouf
UNHCR/Hameed Maarouf

As many as 5.3 million people in Syria may have been left homeless by the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey Monday, according to the UNHCR Friday.

"For Syria, this is a crisis within a crisis. We’ve had economic shocks, COVID and are now in the depths of winter, with blizzards raging in the affected areas," read the press release.

Like many many organizations across the globe, the UN Refugee Agency, has been rushing aid to the badly impacted parts of the country, focusing on shelter and relief items.

To ensure that collective centers that displaced have gone to have adequate facilities, as well as tents, plastic sheeting, thermal blankets, sleeping mats, winter clothing and so on.

"We have been distributing them since day one – last night we gave out 9440 kits – focusing, of course, on all those impacted by the earthquake, but also trying to understand who among the affected are the most vulnerable: the elderly, those with disabilities, children. And of course, there are some children who've been separated from their parents," read the press release.

Notably, they are also working in the protection sector here, aiming to reach vulnerable populations.

Among the challenges of serving those in need in Syria is the damage inflicted on roads, which gets in the way of reaching those in need.

"It’s been very, very difficult. There are 6.8 million people already internally displaced in the country. And this was before the earthquake," according to the UNHCR

The current goal is to "life-saving activity, you know, the adaptation of the collective centers, tents, non-food items and so on."

After that, for the following 8 to 12 weeks, the aim is to support "livelihoods and basic services in affected areas."