DEMAC receives grant for enhancing Syrian diaspora-led earthquake response in Northwest Syria

03 April 2023

The Diaspora Emergency Action & Coordination initiative (DEMAC) has been awarded an activation fund by the H2H Network to support Syrian-led operational response. As part of this effort, DEMAC will deploy a Liaison Officer in Gaziantep to access, collect, and manage data for more coordinated humanitarian assistance.

The activation fund

The activation fund, which has been granted until August 2023, will be implemented in partnership with the Syrian NGO Alliance (SNA). The SNA is a coalition of 22 local Syrian NGOs and diaspora organizations that currently deliver most of the aid in Northwest Syria. The DEMAC Liaison Officer will be based in the SNA office in Gaziantep, Türkiye, and support SNA operations through enhancing data collection and information management of the Syrian-led humanitarian response. The focus will be on hard-to-reach areas, the impact of earthquakes on N/LNGOs staff, and cross-border responses.

The aim is to support the Syrian-led earthquake response and strengthen SNA's coordination and existing structures. Both Syrian diaspora and local humanitarian responders, as well as relevant clusters, donors and stakeholders will benefit from enhanced data and information sharing mechanisms. The aim is to support more evidence-based programming, avoid duplications in response activities, and facilitate new collaborations across actors. This, in turn, will enhance the overall response for the populations of concern.

We are grateful to the H2H Network for supporting this vital project, which will enhance the effectiveness of the humanitarian response in Syria. Syrian civil society has been at the forefront responding to this natural disaster. We look forward to working with the SNA and local Syrian NGOs to support their capacity and efforts in responding to the earthquake and its aftermath.

The main activities of the project will include establishing a data and information system about the Syrian-led humanitarian response to the earthquake, including regular situation reports and a comprehensive real-time review. This is to document and enhance the visibility of the locally led response. Focus will be placed on engaging with Syrian civil society - both local and diaspora organizations - as well as key regional, national, and international Syrian coordination fora to identify gaps and synergies for collaboration with institutional actors.

The earthquake in Syria and Türkiye on February 6th has had devastating effects. According to UNOCHA, alone in Northwest Syria, more than 8.8 million people are affected, over 103,000 internally displaced, and more than 10,600+ buildings fully or partially damaged. While the humanitarian response in Türkiye is led by the Turkish government, the situation in Syria is more intricate. In Northwest Syria, local Syrian and diaspora organizations have been at the forefront of the humanitarian response, providing medical care and relief in hard-to-reach areas and across borders in Syrian provinces.

DEMAC is a global initiative aiming at enhancing mutual knowledge and coordination, communication and coherence between diaspora humanitarian actors and the institutional humanitarian system.

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