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Hi, this is Paula. As residents continue to search barehanded for loved ones amid the ruins of their homes, this week’s earthquake on the border between Turkey and Syria has exposed the difficulties Geneva-based aid organisations are facing in responding to the disaster.

We talk to humanitarians on the logistical and geopolitical fault lines in accessing northwestern Syria, already in a dire state after a decade of conflict.

In other news, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in Geneva earlier this week in a tip of the hat to multilateralism, while the UN human rights chief, Volker Türk, was heading off to Haiti.

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


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Photo article

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) work to rescue a trapped boy under a destroyed building in the city of Jandairis following the devastating earthquake that struck the Turkish-Syrian border, 8 February 2023. (DPA/Anas Alkharboutli)

Geneva aid groups stretched as they scramble to respond to the Turkey-Syria quake. Since Monday morning, when a major earthquake hit the Turkey-Syria border region, humanitarian relief has been in short supply and struggling to get through amid natural and international hurdles. The death toll continues to climb with roads and airports being shut due to the quake damage. Aid workers themselves are trying to recover from the ‘horrors’ they lived through, while in northwestern Syria, sanctions and geopolitics are further complicating the response in an area already at the mercy of international aid.

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