Responding to the Earthquake: Failures and Opportunities in Syria
The February 2023 earthquake devastated critical infrastructure in Turkey and Syria and resulted in over 7,700 deaths and millions of people impacted. The stark disparity in the speed and scale of response between Turkey and Syria highlighted the impact of real and perceived access constraints into Syria. After 12 years of conflict and a highly constrained humanitarian response, it renewed the ongoing dialogues on humanitarian access into and within Syria. U.S. general licenses and access agreements between the UN and the Syrian government demonstrated the potential for improved humanitarian space mitigating the impact of sanctions on the earthquake response in Syria.
Syria is a microcosm of existing access impediments across the humanitarian landscape. This panel brings together policy experts and frontline responders to discuss how to prevent the failures of the earthquake response and how to preserve and progress principled humanitarian access.