02/11/2023 | Middle East

Earthquake Relief Update II by CM’s partner in Syria

People watching an excavator digging in the ruins of collapsed buildings. © Private

11th February 2023

In the refugee camps Afrin/Al-Shahaba north of Aleppo

Again many new families arrived traumatized because they lost their homes. Our relief teams distributed specifically thousands of bottles of drinking water, a big need, as there is no water in these camps and people are very thirsty. Also our teams from the church are visiting all the new families who arrived tired, frightened and physical and mentally needy to help, comfort and care for them.

Our relief teams were making sure that the displaced families receive shelter and distributed food, yogurt labneh, bread, blankets and warm jackets.   

Today in the morning we distributed to at least 1000 families bread, food, and some medicine, and we try to find heating material for them today as the new tent quarter provided for the newcomers by the government is completely empty and cold. Our Pastor V says: “Our local relief teams help as much as they can, but the need is huge and our area between the frontlines is completely overlooked and forgotten by the international aid except from you.”

In Aleppo City:

The big Kurdish city quarter which was heavily hit by the earthquake, was isolated and didn’t receive any help so far from nobody. With the help of our Arabic church partners our Kurdish relief team was able to enter this city quarter for the first time yesterday, huge needs, many people very found thirsty for water and starving, a big disaster. Our Kurdish relief team there is overwhelmed and so they decided to first focus on the most needed 150 families, but much more need help. 

Our city relief teams together with our Arab and Kurdish church partners distributed blankets and hygiene kits (washing, cleaning and disinfection material) to people in the church facilities, school and shelters throughout the quake affected and damaged city areas and also to the people still camping and sleeping on the streets (about hundred thousand in Aleppo).

Pastor A told us this morning: “Many are still coming to the church to sleep because their houses are demolished or damaged. We serve them breakfast and supper, so they can go today by their houses, try to move stones and rubble to save what still is possible. The Syrian government put up some tents and we distribute food and water. We encourage people to help one another to remove stones and rubble, and soon we hope we can help them also to repair parts of their houses, if possible, in order to let them return and sleep there again. We help both Christians and Moslem, as all suffer from the earthquake. Today we will continue to distribute more food, water, blankets and what is needed and what is available here to procure. Currently people are desperately looking for heating oil, which is difficult to find, also fuel for transport and mobility of the people, which is too expensive, so many people come and walk inside the city for a long time to get our church and shelter to find urgently needed food, blankets and what they need to survive in this cold.”

Our relief teams are distributing to everybody in need not asking for their ethnic or religious background. When our Christian partners distributed the aid yesterday also to people seeking shelter in mosques, they were so grateful and it was a good step towards reconciliation and bridging the gap between the different groups.

Another leader of our relief efforts told us:

“Yes, now there are news out there that help is coming in, but we see a different reality on the ground. Still many people complain that nothing arrives, and many announcements are just empty words. Now the international willingness to help is great, but when all the international TV camera teams are gone, then we are quickly forgotten. Sadly, this is our experience from before. Thanks to your help we survive but please you from the international church, don’t let us down like the world does."

We are also helping on the Turkish side in Arabic speaking Antakya the original Antioch (Acts 11:26) which is almost completely destroyed. We lost brothers and sisters but the church is helping as much as they can on the streets.

If you would like to donate to these affected brothers and sisters who are already suffering hardship, we will be happy to pass this on through CM.

Bank: IIRF-D / CM

Evangelische Bank Kassel

IBAN · DE11520604100005015871


Designated purpose: Erdbebenhilfe CM