Diaspora emergency response to the earthquake in Northwest Syria

This page focuses on the humanitarian response of Syrian diaspora and local organizations to the earthquake in Northwest Syria. Only publicly available information has been used and no sensitive data will be published. Diaspora organizations also find several resources to support their planning and programming of activities. Contact details to a range of Syrian diaspora networks worldwide can be accessed in our member section below. 

What happened on February 6?

The recent earthquake that struck the border region between Syria and Turkey on February 6th has worsened an already dire situation in the area. With the conflict in Syria now in its 12th year, the majority of the Syrian population is living below the international poverty line.

According to UNOCHA, more than 8.8 million people are affected in Northwest Syria alone, with over 103,000 internally displaced and more than 10,600 buildings fully or partially damaged. The humanitarian response in Turkey is led by the Turkish government, but the situation in Syria is more complicated.

Local groups are first-responders but come last in funding

In Northwest Syria, local Syrian and diaspora organizations are at the forefront of the humanitarian response, providing medical care and relief in hard-to-reach areas and across borders in Syrian provinces. The Syrian NGO Alliance (SNA), a coalition of 22 local Syrian NGOs and diaspora organizations, currently delivers most of the aid in Northwest Syria.

However, local NGOs have been neglected in the distribution of institutional funding, despite their significant presence in the affected areas. According to UK-based research group Development Initiatives, only 1% of direct funding for the Syrian refugee response in Turkey went to local and national NGOs in 2019 and 2020, with 86% of funding provided directly to international actors, nearly half being channeled to the UN.

Diaspora Organizations' Areas of Intervention


Food Security

Emergency Shelter


Diaspora Organizations Humanitarian Response Map

The Syrian NGO Alliance

DEMAC partners with the Syrian NGO Alliance to support Syrian-led operational response to the earthquake and its aftermath. As part of this effort, DEMAC will deploy a Liaison Officer in Gaziantep to access, collect, and manage data for more coordinated humanitarian assistance. The focus will be on hard-to-reach areas, the impact of earthquakes on N/LNGOs staff, and cross-border responses.

The aim is to support and strengthen SNA's coordination and existing structures.

The Syrian NGO Alliance (SNA) is an association of 22 Syrian civil society and diaspora organizations primarily focused on humanitarian affairs. Established in 2014, the alliance aims to promote joint humanitarian response in Syria, as well as cross-border efforts. It also coordinates advocacy efforts related to humanitarian issues. The SNA is based in Gaziantep, Türkiye.

Members of the SNA assist in several humanitarian sectors, such as Health, Education, Nutrition, NFI, Shelter, Food Security & Livelihoods, Protection, WASH and CCCM.

How the Syrian diaspora unites to speak with one voice

Resources for Diaspora Organizations

Events for Syrian Diaspora Organizations

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Global Refugee Forum 2023

The Global Refugee Forum 2023 will take place between 13 - 15 December in Geneva, with advance events on 12 December. The Forum will provide an opportunity to build on the significant progress made by governments and other stakeholders towards the implementation of pledges and initiatives announced since 2019. During the event, participants will announce new pledges, share good practices to inform and inspire further burden- and responsibility-sharing, and take stock of the challenges and opportunities ahead.  In 2019, the Global Compact on Refugees was affirmed by the UN General Assembly to put in place a new comprehensive refugee response model. A central arrangement of the compact is the Global Refugee Forum where states and other actors come together every four years to share good practices and contribute with financial support, technical expertise and policy changes to help reach the goals of the Global Compact. In 2019, the first Global Refugee Forum took place. This was a true milestone in building solidarity with the world’s refugees and the countries and communities that host them. For more information you can visit the website.

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25th Humanitarian Congress Berlin 2023

The Humanitarian Congress is bringing together the humanitarian community of Berlin, Germany and beyond.  This event is open to current, former or future humanitarian experts, practitioner's, politicians, media professionals, researchers and anyone interested in humanitarian issues. It also provides an opportunity to learn and drive debates on the topic:  “Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Unveiling Attention and Neglect in Humanitarian Action and Global Health”. Aim of the event: With the ambition to unveil as many of the uncomfortable structures, dilemma and relevant facets to the topic as possible, the Humanitarian Congress Berlin aims to embark on the complexities, drivers and biases inherent in attention and neglect — by media, politics, humanitarians and society at large. Discussions will be based on exploring how attention influences humanitarian engagement , perpetuates inequalities and pre-sets possible avenues of likely humanitarian assistance in certain contexts . Venue: This event consists of two days in-person sessions, and one day of live streaming.    Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to critical discussions, explore innovative research or approaches and connect with like-minded individuals interested in the topic.  Physical Address: Franz-Mehring-Platz 1, 10243 Berlin as well as online. About the Humanitarian Congress Berlin: For more than 20 years, the Humanitarian Congress Berlin has been debating, analyzing, evaluating and developing the theory and practice of humanitarian action. It brings together leading experts from medical and humanitarian organizations, governments, and the media, as well as young professionals interested in humanitarian work. At the Humanitarian Congress Berlin, we provide a unique opportunity for participants from around the world to come together and share their experiences, knowledge, and ideas about humanitarian action in an international and multi-disciplinary setting. With more than 1000 individuals from different backgrounds and countries attending every year, we have created a vibrant community with a shared interest in addressing the challenges facing humanitarian action.   Visit website for more information about the congress! Credits: Humanitarian Congress Berlin

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Virtual Launch: Mixed Migration Review 2023

The mixed Migration Review extends an invitation to participate in a virtual launch titled: Regional issues through regional perspectives In line with this predominantly regional nature of mixed migration, the Mixed Migration Review 2023 (MMR 2023), while as always global in its coverage, offers a deliberately regional focus, zooming in on specific regional or, primarily, country contexts. The vast majority of the world’s migration takes place within countries and within regions. Not between regions and certainly not from the majority world to the minority world, despite some common misconceptions.   Discussions topics: What are the prospects for a continent-wide freedom to move in Africa? What are the impacts of new immigration laws in the United States on regional movements? What are the current refugee reception and integration dynamics in South America? What is Bangladesh’s mixed migration landscape, both as a receiving and sending country? How is Lebanon’s crisis impacting the mixed migration situation of Syrian refugees and their onward movements? Can the Ukrainian refugee response be seen as a model for success, or does it reveal the failures of the international refugee regime? What is the example of the European Nordic countries, at the same time top UNHCR donors but increasingly unwelcoming towards asylum seekers at home, telling us about the future of international protection? Join this webinar with regional experts, journalists, and academics who will debate and discuss some of today’s most pressing mixed migration issues globally. N.B: More details about the agenda will be available in October.  Visit website for more information!

Other stories about Syria

Diaspora Organizations involved in the response

This project is funded by the H2H Network and implemented in partnership with the Syrian NGO Alliance, a coalition of 22 Syrian NGOs and diaspora organizations, based in Gaziantep, Turkey.







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