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Earthquake Leaves Syrian Families in Even Greater Hardships amid Years of War

The more than decade-long Syrian conflict has devastated the country and its people with far-reaching consequences.

Samer, 42 and his family of five are settled down in a village in Northwest Syria, around 60 km away from home. However, they endured a lifetime of displacements and stress. “We are from a village in Maarat al-Numan but intense fear drove us out,” he shares.

Years of Displacement
Samer and his family first became displaced in 2018, when the family was caught in the middle of merciless clashes between armed entities. They moved to different places, but were never able to stay for long, either because of indiscriminate bombardments, or because of a tragedy in the family. This life of displacement only came to a stop when the family settled down in the Northwest.

Finally settled, only to be disrupted by another disaster
But these relatively peaceful times only lasted for less than 2.5 years. On that dreadful day, a series of earthquakes changed the lives of 18 million people in Syria and Türkiye, including Samer and his family. The area they live was the epicentre for the earthquake and the family thankfully survived.

“My house wasn’t properly built, so it was severely affected. But we managed to get out. We stayed outside in fear of another aftershock. We later felt very cold so we had to go inside but kept the door open to be able to fast escape if needed. It felt like doomsday, people were screaming, it was raining and it was difficult to know if children were shaking from the cold or fear. ” After a few aftershocks, Samer and his family were evacuated from their almost-collapsed home.

Help is vital
Samer and many people, whose homes were affected by the earthquake, were offered a temporary shelter. He is able to feel somewhat safe and secure some of life’s necessities, such as clean water. “World Vision provide us with potable water on a daily basis. They fill the tank and the next day they check them to add more water,” he shares. He also stresses on the importance of implementing such projects in camps for the displaced, as the Syrian population has been facing water scarcity for the past decade, leading people to resort to unsafe water resources and become vulnerable to diseases.

“I have heard about Cholera, of course! It is vastly spreading across the Northwest. It is concerning,” Samer says. World Vision’s water project helps protect over 180,000 people like Samer and his family from the rapidly spreading Cholera virus and alleviates their struggle in securing water.

For years, World Vision has been working in the areas devastated by the recent earthquake, providing help for children and families displaced by the war in Syria. Currently our priority is to provide help across various sectors, such as water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), health, education and psychosocial support, and to help them gradually rebuild their lives.

Samer filling water from the water tank

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