Six months after the Syria earthquake, survivors are still unhoused and at risk of starvation, warns World Vision

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  • Cuts to food rations place some 2.5 million people at imminent risk of severe hunger
  • Extreme summer heat has caused fires that have killed five people and damaged hundreds of tents
  • Halfway through the year, the United Nations’ $5.3 billion Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria is only 13% funded

AMMAN (August 3, 2023) — Global humanitarian organization World Vision warned today that six months after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake there, the humanitarian situation in northwest Syria is worse than ever.

“Half a year has passed since the devastating earthquake struck northwest Syria and southern Turkey, and Syrians are dealing with its aftereffects on top of ongoing distress caused by conflict, an economic downturn, a cholera outbreak, and harsh weather conditions,” said Johan Mooij, World Vision’s Syria Response Director.

In northwest Syria, concern is growing over the increasing number of families still living in temporary shelters, Mooij added, noting that about 265,000 people whose homes were destroyed by the earthquakes are in need of housing.

Compounding this crisis, extreme summer heat has sparked a series of devastating fires that have damaged homes and tents, with more than 40 fires reported between July 15 and 17 alone. So far this year, over 180 fire incidents have resulted in five deaths and damage to more than 220 tents.

World Vision warns that the situation in northwest Syria is growing increasingly complex as the U.N.’s World Food Programme is being forced by an unprecedented funding crisis to continue cutting back emergency food distributions. These cuts place approximately 2.5 million people at imminent risk of severe hunger, exacerbating an already escalating crisis. Food insecurity has swelled alarmingly, with levels rising over 50% since 2015 and affecting an estimated 12.1 million people. The WFP noted that malnutrition rates are at an all-time high, with one in four pregnant and nursing mothers acutely malnourished and one in four children stunted in some areas of the country.

Meanwhile, the UN’s  Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria , which requests $5.3 billion, is only 13% funded halfway through the year.

World Vision has been operating in Syria, as well as neighboring Jordan and and Turkey, since 2011, providing life-saving protection, education, clean water, and sanitation services along with health and livelihoods support to refugees and local communities.

In the aftermath of the February earthquake, World Vision’s primary focus is ensuring the well-being of children and empowering survivors to reclaim their livelihoods through initiatives like cash vouchers, vocational educational training, small enterprise development, and cash-for-work programs. World Vision has reached over 800,000 beneficiaries in Syria and Turkey with this assistance, but more is needed.

“In this world of plenty, no child should go hungry,” Mooij said. “The need for international assistance and attention remains critical. As we observe the half-year anniversary of the earthquake, we implore individuals, businesses, governments, and international bodies to rally in support of the victims of this crisis, to help them rebuild and recover.”

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.