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Northwest Syria: no organized aid has reached the area yet

It has been a tough and dramatic night in the earthquake-hit areas of Northwest Syria. People slept in public places, amid the rubbles, in schools, friends’ tents, or mosques, as the earthquake swarm shows no sign of stopping. Meanwhile, 24 hours after the first, devastating seismic shock, assistance and support are lacking in the area.

“Unfortunately, no organized humanitarian aid has reached the area yet: people and the media are talking about thousands of resources reaching Turkey and Syria, but they mean the regime-controlled part. The Northwest is currently out of reach,” testifies Abdulkafi Alhamdo, Program Manager of Still I Rise in Northwest Syria.

As Reuters reported earlier today, the flow of United Nations aid from Turkey to Northwest Syria has also been temporarily halted due to road damage and other logistical problems related to the earthquake, making it even more difficult for organized aid to arrive.

“The international community has been ignoring more than 4 million people for far too long: it must act now and send immediate relief. Not only to save lives now, but also in the weeks and months to come, as the lives of millions of people in northwestern Syria are at stake every day,” said Giulia Cicoli, Advocacy Director of Still I Rise.

As for the staff and students of Still I Rise’s school “Ma’an”, they have almost all been reached and are in good health. Four students are still missing: connections are difficult due to the lack of electricity and internet, and the staff is working to physically reach them and ascertain their condition.  The school building appears to have suffered no major damage, but it is too early to run a proper assessment.

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