After years of war and division, and in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes, Olimpia Theodoli of the nonprofit Crete For Life says now is the time to help everyone.
Since the start of the war in Syria more than 10 years ago, Crete For Life and their partner, the Blue Marists group in Aleppo, have been supporting communities in need. Olimpia Theodoli, Project Leader of Crete For Life warns that Syria recovery support is now more important than ever.
“Over a decade of war and destruction, paralyzing international sanctions, the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic, and a massive earthquake have left millions of people in Syria out in the snow, homeless, and with nowhere to turn to. Regardless of political beliefs, religious creeds, and polarising divisions, now is the time to help these people who have lost everything and have been living from one trauma to another tragedy.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has struck southern Turkey and northern Syria. In Syria, the areas affected are those administered by the government, including Aleppo, and the Idlib province considered the last opposition stronghold in Syria. Aleppo, one of Syria’s largest cities, has circa 2 million inhabitants. Of the 4.9 million people living in the Idlib area, over 3 million are displaced by the war. People have been living either in camps, tents, or buildings damaged by the war and years of neglect. Traveling between the two parts of the country is both forbidden and dangerous. Years of civil war have divided the country.
Now is the time to help everyone.
There is an immediate need for fuel for medical vehicles and facilities, tents, blankets, mattresses, tarpaulins, heaters, food, water, medical supplies, and much more to prevent as much suffering as possible. Your donations can help save as many lives as possible. The low winter temperature adds misery to a catastrophic situation. Our partners, the voluntary Blue Marists group in Aleppo, have been active since the beginning of the war and have always helped and supported anyone in need.
Support Syria earthquake relief efforts through Crete For Life.
Muslim or Christian, pro or against Assad, now is not the time for more divisive political theories and explanations. Now is the time to help all the Syrian people. Time to ensure that international help reaches everyone and is distributed fairly. It is time to start the process of reconciliation and support children and young people in Syria to have a future. It is time for the international community to stop hiding behind empty propaganda and start to hear and consider all Syrian voices, especially those who have never left the country. Now is the time to help Syria. Time to stop considering sanctions as an effective weapon that protects civilians. Before this earthquake, 12.4 million Syrians depended on food aid. What now? There is no economy, no work, and no reconstruction because the US and Europe refuse to invest in the country as long as the present regime does not reform. Because of the international sanctions, there are not enough medicines, petrol, imports, or essential goods. The time to help Syria is now.
People don’t know what to do, or where to go to be safe. They need anything, from clothing to food to accommodation. Before the earthquake, 90% of Syrians lived below the poverty line.
This country has already suffered a lot because of the war and today, again, feels punished by the earthquake.
The end of the cruel international sanctions would open up Syria to its future reconstruction. Now it needs your help and your donations to survive yet another tragedy.“
Crete For Life received an emergency grant from the Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief Fund to support their work to help Syria and aid long-term recovery. You can fuel other community-led organizations responding to the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey today.
Please note: You can find the original version of this statement, authored by Olimpia Theodoli and the Crete For Life Team, on Facebook. It has been slightly edited here for length and clarity.Featured Photo: Emergency response to Turkey and Syria Earthquake by Bunyan Genclik ve Kalknma Dernegi
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