GOAL, the Irish-based international humanitarian organization, with long-term operations in Southern Türkiye and NW Syria, is positioned in Adana airport this evening to receive two airlifts of emergency items worth over €800,000 from the Irish government.
The airlifts, which took off from UN’s Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai this afternoon, comprise 700 tents, 9,000 thermal blankets, 3,000 solar lamps, 3,000 hygiene kits, 3,000 kitchen sets and 3,000 water jerry cans. GOAL will distribute the emergency items to victims of this harrowing earthquake in the disaster-hit regions over the coming days and weeks.
In Northwest Syria, where GOAL’s 950 staff were already providing humanitarian aid to 1.5 million people severely impacted by conflict every year, aid stocks were fortunately largely spared from the destruction. The aid agency has therefore been using existing stocks to provide food, water and other essentials to thousands of people in the week after the earthquakes and prioritizing the setup of emergency latrines for people living in displacement settings. In addition, GOAL is preparing to provide cash and voucher assistance to people left with nothing in the aftermath of the earthquakes.
Lorraine Marriot, GOAL’s Middle East Regional Director, spoke of relief efforts being delivered by her colleagues who themselves have lost so much.
“GOAL teams live and work in the areas most impacted by the earthquakes. Many have lost their homes, loved ones, friends and colleagues, but we are still responding to the urgent humanitarian needs of people in the wake of such devastation and loss. We are supporting our colleagues in Türkiye and Syria, whose lives have been turned upside down, as they in turn support so many others around them.”
She also spoke of the need for more support, particularly to respond to humanitarian needs in Türkiye and NW Syria, where affected communities have been calling for urgent increased international support.
“While our aid stocks have allowed us to respond quickly in NW Syria, supplies are finite, and the entire humanitarian effort here urgently needs financial support. People here have experienced crisis after crisis and 12 years of perpetual conflict. 90% of people were already reliant on humanitarian aid, and are now even more reliant on it for their survival. The earthquake may soon no longer be headline news, but people’s needs will be great for some time to come.”
Jeannie Zielinski, Country Director, GOAL Syria also welcomed the decision to open more border crossings between Türkiye and Syria, allowing vital aid to reach affected parts of NW Syria faster.
“We are relieved to see that two further border crossings are being opened to aid, at Bab-al-Salam and at Al-Raee. In partnership with the international aid sector and via the UN Security Council, we have advocated for this vital access for a number of years now. We hope that these two crossings can remain open into the future to ensure that people in NW Syria, who have been through so much for so long, are not forgotten again.”