One year after the earthquake in Syria and Turkey

Published on Friday 9 February 2024

“We have lived through twelve years of war and seen many of its horrors, but we have seen nothing like the horrors of the earthquake and its psychological and economic impact on the Syrian people,” testifies Marwan*, a resident of North-West Syria.

On February 6, 2023, a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, one of the most violent to hit the region in over a century, further intensifying the humanitarian crisis in local communities. In North-West Syria, thousands of people are displaced, and our teams are responding to the emergency.

With the support of the Centre de Crise et de Soutien (CdCS) of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL intervened to help thousands of affected people, providing both emergency and long-term assistance.


In the days following the disaster, our teams mobilized to meet the initial needs of the population. An emergency food aid distribution was launched in collective shelters, targeting almost 5,000 displaced people. These food baskets included canned beans, hummus, chicken, vegetables, tuna, olive oil, zaatar, dates, cakes and bread, enough to meet a family’s nutritional needs for 5 to 7 days.

  • 22.1 million inhabitants
  • 150th out of 191 countries on the Human Development Index
  • 872.261 people helped

Distribution of food baskets by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL on February 14, 2023, North-West Syria

SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL extended its support by distributing monetary assistance to over 5,200 people affected by the earthquake. This financial allocation helped to meet their immediate needs in terms of food security, hygiene and housing, while promoting a rapid return to self-sufficiency following the disaster.


Rubble management

Following the earthquake, the collapse of numerous buildings created a crucial need for clearance to remove the millions of tons of rubble obstructing roads and buildings. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL supported local stakeholders by clearing over 16,000 cubic meters of debris, helping to restore access to the affected areas. At the same time, awareness-raising sessions were organized in the areas cleared of debris to inform the local population about safety measures in the event of further earthquakes and piles of rubble.

Removal of rubble by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL teams in earthquake-affected areas, North-West Syria

Continuing financial aid

SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL’s commitment also extended to providing financial support to over 3,500 people affected by the earthquake. Between July and November 2023, monthly distributions of monetary assistance were set up to help the community recover from the crisis. This approach compensates for the reduction in resources, ensuring essential needs in terms of food security, hygiene and housing. This initiative has played a key role in helping earthquake-affected households gradually regain their independence, thanks to financial support.

Rehabilitation of affected businesses

The earthquake damaged essential small enterprises, limiting the ability of local communities to access basic goods and services. Although not all buildings were completely destroyed, many have become uninhabitable or have significant cracks, affecting many businesses and their customers. The impact on bakeries is particularly worrying, as bread is an essential part of the region’s diet. To fight food insecurity, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has rehabilitated 3 bakeries and 55 small shops affected by the earthquake, helping to restore access to essential goods for the community.

Marwan* is 62 years old and owns a small business in North-West Syria. With one leg amputated, he has to use a wheelchair. His home is close to his store, which he has to go to every day to support his needs. As a result of the earthquake, the store was damaged, as well as the road between his home and his business. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL intervened to rehabilitate Marwan*’s store, and install a ramp with handholds between his home and the store to facilitate access. The store itself was also refurbished to accommodate Marwan*’s disability: sink lowered, doors widened… “It was a dream for me to access my store from home without anyone’s help. Since SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL installed a ramp and handholds, I can depend on no one.”

Marwan*, a resident of North-West Syria, in front of his business rehabilitated by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL.

In response to the earthquake, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is also supported by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the German Agency for International Development Cooperation (GIZ), USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), the European Commission’s Foreign Policy Instruments Service (FPI – Global Europe), the Wavestone Corporate Foundation, the Agence de l’eau Seine-Normandie (AESN) and the Fondation de France.

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