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Syria: Children terrified of sleeping in tents as storms and flooding damage shelters of families already affected by the earthquakes

Torrential rainfall and flooding have damaged camps and villages across earthquake affected areas of northern Syria, with children too scared to sleep in tents. 
21 March 2023

extensive damage, particularly in camps for internally displaced people (IDP). At least 375 tents sheltering families have been destroyed or left uninhabitable, and over 530 tents were partially damaged, according to Save the Children’s partners in the area.

The flooding has also cut off roads, restricting efforts to reach communities who are still in need of humanitarian assistance following last month’s earthquakes.

Samira*, 38, is a mother of three. They have been living in a makeshift camp since the earthquakes forced them to flee the camp they had been living in for four years.

She said: “Ever since the earthquake, I’ve been trying to convince my children that the tent is safe. The sound of the thunder and the flood is making them and myself scared and cry. People here are telling us that if rain continues, it might drown the camp completely. We haven’t recovered from the fear of the earthquake yet, and we have to deal with this now’’.

In another impacted camp in northern Aleppo, Sanaa*, seven years old, says she is worried about her younger siblings. She told her mother: “Let us not sleep tonight. You hold Majed* (her little brother) and I will hold Sara* (her little sister) so they don’t drown while sleeping’’. The family has been living in the camp for the past four years.

Kathryn Achilles, Advocacy, Media and Communications Director for Save the Children Syria said:

“The flooding shows how truly vulnerable children, and their families are across northern Syria. The rains have compounded their needs, forcing them once again from their shelter, leaving them to pick up the pieces. What more can children be expected to endure? Today, the international community needs to make concrete commitments to supporting them, so that children have safe places to sleep, access to education and protection services including psycho-social support to process all that has happened to them.”

Save the Children welcomes the 7 billion Euro pledge from the international community to support people impacted by last month’s devastating earthquakes across Türkiye and Syria but warns it’s a long road ahead to guarantee children’s recovery.

Rasha Muhrez, Save the Children Syria Response Director said:

“The situation in Syria was already incredibly dire even before the earthquakes struck, with children lacking sufficient water, food, healthcare, education services and increasingly, hope, after more than 12 years of war.

“For far too long the needs of Syrian children have been neglected. It shouldn’t have taken an earthquake to refocus the international community, but now it is time to shift our approach. We need to use this funding to rehabilitate schools, make hospitals fit for purpose and ensure that children have safe homes.

“The donor conference was an opportunity to commit to funding a long-term, sustainable approach to meeting the humanitarian needs of children across Syria while supporting them to begin the long process of recovery and providing them the opportunity to build a better life. It’s clear we need to go much further to guarantee this outcome.”

Save the Children has been providing assistance to the children in need in Syria since 2012. Save the Children programming combines emergency and life-saving interventions with early recovery activities that support the restoration of basic services and aims to reach every last child in need.

As part of the earthquake response, Save the Children is delivering aid through partners, responding in Idlib, Aleppo and Raqqa governorates, and providing emergency food rations, blankets, tents and warm clothing. Save the Children is also making sure children and their families can keep clean, healthy and protected from illness and diseases, as well as providing protection services, including psycho-social support.

*Names have been changed.


MEDIA CONTACT: Mala Darmadi on 0425562113 or


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