Mercy Corps Statement Following the United Nations Flash Appeal for the Earthquake in Syria

Today the United Nations issued a flash appeal for donor support in response to the devastating earthquake that struck Syria on February 6. The appeal requests $397.6 million between now and May to support the millions of earthquake survivors in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Mercy Corps’ team in Northwest Syria, where the organization has a decade-long presence, has been responding since the earthquake struck, delivering kits with blankets, solar lanterns, mattresses and other supplies as well as trucking clean water to families in displacement camps and working to begin repairing damaged water infrastructure.

In response to the UN appeal, Kieren Barnes, Mercy Corps’ Country Director for Syria, says:

“Even prior to today’s UN flash appeal launch, the UN’s response plan for Syria was only 50% funded. The staggering gap between funding needs and donor commitments underscores the dire situation organizations on the ground in Northwest Syria are facing as our emergency supplies quickly dwindle, and the needs far outmatch current resources just one week after the earthquake.”

“The international community must step up, particularly for the response inside Northwest Syria, where Syrians have been largely left on their own to respond in the wake of the earthquake. The weeks ahead threaten a deadly aftershock of cholera, hunger and lack of shelter if we can’t quickly scale up to support the hundreds of thousands of people in need of urgent help. ”

“The challenges of delivering aid in Syria are dynamic and complex - but all parties must put people over politics, and ensure the UN and aid groups have the access and the funding we need to reach all people who need it, regardless of where they live.”