Almost two weeks after the severe earthquakes, not everyone in north-west Syria has received emergency aid. “We are still at the beginning and have not yet seen the worst,” Muhannad Hadi, the UN emergency aid coordinator responsible for Syria, told the German Press Agency. So far, for example, around 60,000 people have been supplied with water and around 13,000 earthquake victims with tents. According to the UN, around 40,000 households are currently homeless.

If the necessary funding, which the UN estimates at 400 million dollars for Syria alone, does not come about, it will not be possible to help everyone in the future, Hadi warns.

Accordingly, no aid is still coming from the government areas to the earthquake regions controlled by rebels. The UN actually wants more aid to flow across the domestic borders of the conflicting parties to the north-west of the country, which was badly hit by the earthquake. “We weren’t able to implement that yet,” admits the emergency aid coordinator. The UN transports for the rebel areas have so far only come via Turkey. After years of civil war, Syria is fragmented into areas under different control. This makes humanitarian aid after the disaster significantly more difficult.

Federal government increases aid

The UN meanwhile also fears violence against women and children who are currently sleeping outdoors or who do not have safe access to toilets in emergency shelters. Hadi warns that protection for these vulnerable groups in north-west Syria urgently needs to be expanded. Many children have lost their loved ones.

The federal government has meanwhile promised the earthquake victims in Syria further aid in the millions. “Even if the Assad regime is putting one stone after the other in the way of the aid organizations, we won’t leave the people there alone,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) told the “Bild am Sonntag”. It is about mothers, children and grandparents who have been experiencing war for more than ten years, sometimes had to flee several times and are now mourning their loved ones under the rubble. “They now lack even the bare essentials to survive: a roof over their heads, clean drinking water, something to eat and medicine. That’s why we’re increasing our aid for the region again by over 22 million euros.”