The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) has launched an appeal in response to the devastating Syria Turkey earthquake, which has already killed thousands of people.
CAFOD’s partners were already responding to the severe humanitarian need in Syria, which meant they were able to support the emergency effort as soon as the earthquake hit.
The response has included supporting the search and rescue operation, as well as helping with the humanitarian need that arises when earthquakes hit, such as making sure people have water, hot meals, warm clothes and moving them to safe places.
To ensure teams on the ground can continue in their efforts, CAFOD has committed an initial £100,000 in support, which will continue to be reviewed.
Supporting CAFOD’s appeal will help those responding to the search and rescue operation, as well as ensuring they can deliver the humanitarian aid that will be needed in the coming weeks, months and even years.
The earthquake has proved particularly catastrophic in Syria, as the infrastructure was already damaged from a brutal conflict.
Hombeline Dulière, CAFOD’s Programme Manager for Syria Crisis Response said:
“While the eyes of the world have been elsewhere, our partners in Syria remained on the ground responding to the severe humanitarian need in the country.
“This meant that when the earthquake tragically hit, they were already there and were able to respond quickly to the disaster.
“Our partners are working tirelessly to support the search and rescue operation, as well as making sure people have water, hot meals, warm clothing and somewhere safe to go.
“It is heart-breaking that this disaster has hit people who have already suffered so much. The impact has been catastrophic and will be felt in the country for years to come.”
In Northern Syria, the humanitarian need was already severe, as the impact of the conflict which began 12 years ago continues.
Millions of people in Syria have been living in extreme poverty, including having limited access to food and water. This need is only going to deepen for so many vulnerable families in need.
Prior to the earthquake, CAFOD’s partners worked on a number of projects in Syria, including a programme which worked to support families repair their homes, and communities repair schools that had been damaged by the war.
This work will be even more urgent in the coming months, as homes and communities will once again need to be rebuilt after the devastating earthquake.
CAFOD is also calling on the international community, including the UN, governments and international NGOs, to focus on supporting local organisations already rooted in the community.
It is civil society networks and organisations already embedded in the communities affected by the crisis that can most effectively get aid to people who are in need, and offer hope for recovery over the longer-term.
CAFOD’s appeal can be supported by heading to their website at cafod.org.uk.
Written by: Patrick Kinsella