Don’t leave communities out in the cold
08 February 23
On Monday 6th February I woke up to a message from my brother saying he had lost his home. Soon similar messages began coming through from friends and family in Turkey and Syria. There had been an earthquake and many people, such as my family, became homeless overnight.
Thousands of others lost their lives in the devastation.
As I write this, the death toll has passed 10,000 people and WHO estimates that as many as 20,000 may have been killed.
The Syrian people have survived so much already: bombardment from the sky, being swept under the sea and now we are under threat from the earth.
When I was working as a neurosurgeon in Aleppo, I operated on many people who had terrible injuries caused by snipers and barrel bombs. Those who have survived face new dangers: along with this terrible disaster they are facing freezing temperatures, inadequate shelter and a lack supplies which threaten the lives of thousands if support doesn’t reach them soon.
Despite urgent needs, the humanitarian response has been slow to reach some communities in Turkey and Syria. The land border from Turkey to Syria, through which most aid to North-West Syria has been delivered, is closed and the delivery of aid is threatened by politics.
Right now the media is full of stories of people who have been lost under the rubble, some of whom may have survived if they had received assistance. Long-established local NGOs are there and able to provide support with the right assistance from the international community. At Amna, where I am a Trustee, we are raising money to support these communities directly.
Now is not the time to forget the Syrian people. Please donate to Amna so that we can make sure funds and assistance get where it’s needed in both Syria and Turkey.
Abdulkarim is a Syrian Doctor and Amna Trustee