The devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Northern Syria killing more than 11,000 people is a tragedy that follows more than a decade of heartbreaking conflict in the region. The death toll is mounting by the minute and after 11 years of war, the situation in Syria is made worse by limited infrastructure and resources, adding to the deep trauma of women survivors of war and their families.
We’ve been working with our partner based in Aleppo, Women Now for Development (WND), since 2020 helping Syrian women to rebuild their lives. We are in constant touch with our colleagues who report that thankfully their team members are all accounted for and safe. Sadly though, many have lost family members as well as their homes and are seeking safe shelter amidst freezing weather. We are raising funds to meet the immediate critical needs of the WND team who are severely impacted by this disaster, so they can continue to serve women survivors of the war.
“It’s been only a very short period of time since our children began to feel settled in the homes to which we fled after the recent forced displacement we’ve gone through late 2019. But their feelings of fear and terror returned after the massive earthquake, and the scenes of victims and debris again. My child, who is not yet six years old, said to me yesterday: “Get me out of here, I feel my heart will explode with fear."
—Women Now for Development Staff Member
Working with women in conflict-affected countries for 30 years, we know that natural disasters only worsen the situation for people already facing unimaginable challenges. It is women—already deeply socially and economically marginalized—who have the hardest time recovering and rebuilding their lives in the wake of a crisis.
We will continue to provide updates as we know more about this quickly evolving situation so that our global community can best support the women we serve in Syria.
* Photo credit: Khaled Akacha