Alleviating the Suffering of Syrians: UN Launches Humanitarian Appeal for 1 Billion US Dollars

The devastating effects of the 12-year-long civil war in Syria have been compounded by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria last week.[0] The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, visited the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, the sole lifeline from Idlib to the outside world, and said: “We have so far failed the people in north-west Syria. They rightly feel abandoned. My duty and our obligation is to correct this failure as fast as we can.”[1]

In response, the UN is launching a humanitarian appeal worth 1 billion US dollars for the people of Türkiye suffering from the devastating earthquakes.[2] The funding, which covers a three-month period, will assist 5.2 million people and allow aid organizations to rapidly scale up vital support for government-led relief efforts in a number of areas, including food security, protection, education, water and shelter.[2]

Assad has also agreed to open two additional border crossings into northern Syria from Turkey to expedite the flow of humanitarian relief.[3] However, as of Wednesday only one UN relief convoy of 11 trucks had arrived in Syria.[4]

UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan has spoken out against the “outrageous” and “long-lasting” unilateral sanctions that were “suffocating” millions of Syrians.[5] She described that 90% of Syria’s population was living below the poverty line, and access to food, water, electricity, fuel, shelter, transportation, and healthcare were limited.[5] She stated that over half of the nation's essential infrastructure had been fully annihilated or detrimentally affected.[5]

The UN is working to deliver aid to the people of Syria, but the situation remains dire. It is clear that more must be done to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria.

0. “The Syria earthquake and aid crisis is a “perfect storm””, 12 Feb. 2023,

1. “Syrians lament disaster after disaster in earthquake ravaged Jindayris” Middle East Eye, 15 Feb. 2023,

2. “UN chief calls for int'l support for people in quake-stricken Türkiye” Xinhua, 16 Feb. 2023,

3. “Syria agrees to open crossings for earthquake relief” Vatican News – English, 14 Feb. 2023,

4. “Turkey-Syria earthquakes: Tiniest survivors in rebel-held northern Syria wait for help slowed by civil war” CBS News, 15 Feb. 2023,

5. “Cuba, Venezuela, China rush aid to earthquake-stricken Syria as US makes half-measures on sanctions” The Real News Network, 10 Feb. 2023,