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Lent calendar 15 March

A street in Homs, Syria, devastated by war.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

Psalm 33:18

Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Syria, while it is a little over one year since devastating earthquakes struck both Syria and Turkey.

In a country already ravaged by war, the earthquake in Syria destroyed yet more buildings and killed thousands of people.

Those who would normally be at the forefront of the emergency response were directly impacted themselves by the earthquakes. Some of our local experts had to sleep in their cars, away from their damaged homes. Some were injured or had relatives injured.

Claudia, who helps to coordinate our Syria emergency response, shares her recollections:

“The situation was overwhelming for all our partners. Our challenge was that we had to remotely support teams and communities who had already been suffering from 13 years of war, most of them already displaced from their hometown and now facing homelessness in the middle of a very harsh winter.

“We saw people burning rubbish to keep warm. Most people in areas affected by the earthquake already lived in tents or very precarious conditions.”

Immediately after the earthquake, we worked to provide access to food, clean water and sanitation, and mental health support to the people affected and to our partners’ staff.

But there is still much to be done as communities recover, while also ensuring that people remain safe in a conflict zone.

Knowing there are people out there who care, makes a real difference. As Claudia continues:

“I think despite the horrible circumstances, partners and communities felt the warmth of people here… So I would say to everyone to keep the Syrian people in their thoughts, prayers and actions. Every effort really matters and helps them moving forward.”


Lord, work through us, so that those who are broken-hearted may know they are never forgotten, even in the most difficult of times. May they feel the comfort of your presence and your saving love. Amen.


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Emergency Response Team

Earthquakes, conflict, floods and droughts devastate lives. But with you in our team, we can provide a fast emergency response.