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Fundraising effort for the Syrian Kahramanmaras earthquake victims

Photos and videos courtesy of Baian Taleb

The death toll following the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday has climbed to at least 21,051, according to authorities. In Turkey, the death toll has risen to at least 17,674, and the number of injured is 72,879, according Vice President Fuat Oktay on Thursday.

In Syria, at least 3,377 people were killed, including 2,030 in rebel-held areas in the northwest, according to the White Helmets civil defense group — and 1,347 deaths in government-controlled parts of Syria, according to Syrian state media.

The massive earthquakes on February 6 have shattered the lives and livelihoods of countless people across Türkiye and Syria. But nowhere will the devastation be more acute than in the embattled territories of Northwest Syria, where the quake’s impact is compounded by more than a decade of conflict, aid obstruction, and protracted displacement. As the photos and videos show, the damage is much more extensive and serious than reported in media as documented by the locals.

An enormous international relief operation has swiftly and admirably deployed to affected areas in Türkiye. However, the quake has left Northwest Syria with dramatically diminished humanitarian access and support, notwithstanding the best efforts of humanitarian agencies. More than 4 million Syrians in this region depend on aid from the UN and NGOs, provided through Bab-al-Hawa, a single—now badly damaged—border crossing with Türkiye. The recently renewed UN Resolution allowing cross-border aid only authorizes UN agencies access via this crossing.

A number of logistical options exist to get large-scale earthquake relief into Northwest Syria, but all will require political and diplomatic pressure to become a reality. As a first step, the United Nations Security Council should convene immediately to:

  • Demand that the conflict parties agree to a humanitarian pause in hostilities for at least 30 days;

  • Grant unfettered humanitarian access for earthquake relief efforts in Northwest Syria; and

In Northwest Syria, the quake has massively increased humanitarian needs even as it undermined much of the humanitarian service architecture. The number of confirmed casualties has soared to nearly 2,000, with many more likely remaining in the rubble. Many thousands more displaced Syrians were again made homeless overnight with limited options for avoiding bitter winter conditions. This will have a disproportionate effect on women and children, who make up the majority of the region’s vulnerable population.

Please join our efforts with families in Syria to help the victims devastated by this earthquake. The Goodwill Ambassador of Society & Diplomatic Review, who was also Miss Arab USA 2016-2017, is organizing a grassroots effort to help gather aid for the victims. Baian Taleb, who is from Al Nabk, Syria, is currently working in the space industry handling project development in advanced technology and space, space missions, and research. Baian was sent videos and photos from her friends and family members in Syria depicting the large scale damage that their cities endured after the earthquake.

As a Goodwill Ambassador and former Miss Arab USA, Baian believes that she can use her platform and large following to bring to light in times of these natural disasters and catastrophies, the need for aid. As Baian states, "These are times where political borders should be put aside and everybody should help each other as fellow human beings."

For information on how you can help, please contact: where she and her family in Syria will organize efforts and resources to aid the victims.




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