Updates from Aleppo
Avsi in aleppo and latakia: what we have already done
Since 2015, AVSI has been steadily working in Syria, with an extensive network of partners and projects to support the Syrian people worn out by 12 years of war. Within mere hours after the earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, our staff was on the ground working on the response. While the emergency phase is over, the situation is and will remain dramatic for a long time.
immediate care to the injured thanks to the "syria open hospitals" project
On Monday, February 6, AVSI provided immediate relief to the wounded at the St. Louis Hospital in Aleppo and a dispensary in Latakia. Both facilities are part of the “Syria Open Hospitals” project, active since 2017. This five-year-long collaboration positioned us to be ready to respond to the emergency immediately.
In addition to providing free medical assistance, AVSI supported emergency shelters, particularly one set up at the Hisham Bin Abdul Malik School, which has provided refuge to 564 people since the night of the earthquake. Some of the activities there include:
distribution of food and essential items
- 2,617 warm meals and 2,502 ready-to-eat meals distributed to shelters in the first 25 days following the earthquake
- 313 food parcels (containing food for one family for one month) distributed to earthquake-affected families
- 205 children’s clothing kits, 245 adult clothing kits, and 200 blankets distributed
- 408 dignity kits (hygiene products) distributed to women and girls
- 85 winter kit distributed to children: blankets, umbrellas, gloves, hats, and scarves. Since the beginning of the emergency, distributions of fruit for children and formula for infants have also been organized (66 packages delivered)
- cleaning kits, three diesel stoves, 17 emergency flashing lamps supplied to the reception center in the Hisham Bin Abdul Malik school
free medical assistance
- 251 people were treated free of charge
- 25 wheelchairs were provided to Saint Louis Hospital in Aleppo and Lattakia dispensary for people who suffered physical injuries from the earthquake
education and child protection
- 120 children participate in psycho-social activities
- restoration of Saint Joseph’s educational center (ongoing)
- restoration of Hisham Bin Abdel Malak school in Aleppo (ongoing)
Four months after the earthquake, AVSI has helped over 1500 families in Aleppo.
together we can do more for the people affected by the earthquake in Syria
“In Aleppo, the situation is dramatic: the city is destroyed, so many families have lost their homes. People do not have the strength to face yet another emergency after the war, economic sanctions, financial crisis, COVID, and cholera.” Filippo Agostino, AVSI Syria country representative.
- restoring 37 houses damaged by the earthquake (8 house restorations are ongoing)
- distributing money to 1,495 families (909 already reached) who need to rent houses, buy essential food and medicines, tools and materials to repair their homes and/or furniture
- distributing 160 dignity kits and 400 hygiene kits
- distributing 200 food parcels to the most valuable people: those who lost family members during the earthquake, those who had to leave their homes
- treating the injured at the Saint Louis Hospital in Aleppo and Latakia dispensary: patients receive at least one free consultation for specialist examinations, prescribed medicine, and transport refund, including specialized services for people with disabilities. In some specific cases, AVSI also covers the cost of hospitalization
- offering psychological support to 600 people
More about AVSI's history in Syria:
the health crisis and the Open Hospitals campaign
In 2017, AVSI launched the Open Hospitals campaign, promoted by the Apostolic Nunciature in Damascus together with Cor Unum and the Gemelli Foundation, to ensure free care for poor patients in three Syrian nonprofit hospitals and 4 dispensaries. Such an intervention was necessary to face an unparalleled health crisis: nearly 11.5 million people, 40% of whom are children, do not receive adequate medical care; more than 2 million people in the Aleppo district and more than 1 million in Damascus do not have access to hospitals. The national health care system cannot cope with the demand for treatment, and families are unable to pay health care fees.
The Saint Louis Hospital in Aleppo, which luckily is still fully functional after the earthquake, is precisely one of these hospitals supported by AVSI through the project “Syria. Open Hospitals.” To date, more than 95,000 free treatments have been provided to poor Syrians. Recently, more than 80 people injured during the earthquake received treatment there.
In Syria, AVSI also works in the fields of education and economic strengthening, with a special focus on women.