Press Release

Joint Statement on one-year anniversary of the earthquakes by the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr Adam Abdelmoula, & the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr Muhannad Hadi

06 February 2024

Damascus and Amman, 6 February 2024 - Today marks one year since the devastating earthquakes hit Syria and Türkiye. In Syria, some 6,000 people have been killed and nearly 13,000 injured. The event not only shattered the lives of millions of people, it wreaked havoc on the country’s infrastructure and economy, both of which had already been ravaged by 12 years of conflict.

The tragedy came during a time when Syria was facing an unprecedented economic crisis – with 15.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The earthquakes exacerbated the situation further yet. Billions of dollars in damage aside, the human toll of this disaster is incalculable. Many people remain displaced to date, waiting for solutions and shelter.

Humanitarian partners, many of whom were themselves impacted by the earthquakes, did not hesitate to begin working on the response from the first moment. Facing immense challenges, including severe fuel and electricity shortages, a lack of essential equipment and an overwhelmed healthcare system, the emergency response delivered life-saving aid to the stricken population.

In the first two months of the response the partners delivered ready-to-eat meals to 1.1 million people; nearly 1 million treatment courses to health facilities together with around 400,000 outpatient consultations, and over 530,000 mental health consultations; over 800,000 people benefitted from protection support; some 112,000 received emergency tents; 560,000 had improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene; more than 43,000 farmer families received agriculture assistance and much more.

The earthquakes were a violent wake up call to the fact that the crisis in Syria is untenable and a clear indication that early recovery must become an imperative. Today, a staggering 16.7 million people require humanitarian assistance. This shocking number comes against the background of a bleak funding outlook and conflicts raging across the globe. This trend must urgently be reversed.

Today, we recommit ourselves to serve the people of Syria by addressing the root causes of the Syria crisis, by enabling communities to recover and rebuild, and by inspiring hope in the future generations of the country.

We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our donors and their steadfast support. But much more is needed as our 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan was just over 36 per cent resourced by the year’s end. Inaction will lead to more suffering and will affect all of us.

Time is not on our side.


For further information:

Olga Cherevko, Spokesperson, OCHA Syria, Damascus,


To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit

Adam Abdelmoula

Adam Abdelmoula

Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
Mr. Abdelmoula brings more than 35 years of experience in development, rule of law, human rights, humanitarian work and security, of which the last 24 have been with the UN.
Prior to his appointment as United Nations Resident Coordinator, he was serving as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, where he led the UN’s development and humanitarian activities amid the worst drought in generations, political instability, disease outbreaks and a looming famine.
Prior to this, Mr. Abdelmoula held different positions within the UN System, including as Director of the UN Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); Country Director for Iraq at the UN Development Programme (UNDP); Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in Syria and Kuwait, Chief of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Section at OHCHR, Deputy Chief of the United Nations Mission in Liberia Human Rights Division, Chief Human Rights Officer of the United Nation Assistant Mission for Iraq and Senior Rule of Law and Human Rights Adviser for Somalia.
Before joining the UN, Mr. Abdelmoula worked for several international and regional organizations including Human Rights Watch, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, the Arab Lawyers Union and the Fund for Peace.
Mr. Abdelmoula has a doctorate in public international law from Georgetown University, a Master of Law from Harvard Law School and Bachelor of Law from Khartoum University.

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