ICRC President visit to Aleppo February 2023

Syria: President of the International Committee of the Red Cross visits Aleppo in earthquake aftermath

Aleppo (ICRC) – International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) president Mirjana Spoljaric visited Aleppo today, five days after a deadly earthquake hit southern Türkiye and northwest Syria.
Statement 10 February 2023 Syria

Ms Spoljaric said: "It is difficult to find the words to describe the level of loss, suffering and destruction I have seen and heard about. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones in Syria and Türkiye. 

"For this earthquake to occur in a war-shattered region is nothing short of a catastrophe. People are exhausted and scared. Their resilience has been shattered after years of conflict. In many places like Aleppo people had barely started to return home to rebuild their lives. Now they're having to survive the freezing temperatures with next to nothing. 

"Basic services needed to sustain life–clean water, heating, health care, electricity–were extremely weak prior to the earthquake. The humanitarian situation is even more severe today. 

"The ICRC will do its utmost to support people – whoever and wherever they are. It is imperative we are granted full humanitarian access to all areas affected, and humanitarian action must not be hindered. This is a vital opportunity to de-politicise aid. Saving lives must be our collective priority.

"I want to pay tribute to the volunteers and first responders, including our Red Crescent partners, who are working day and night since Monday to save lives. Their continued efforts to help people hit by this disaster and the impacts of the years of conflict are remarkable."

President Spoljaric's visit to Syria to draw attention to the needs and plight of people was scheduled prior to the earthquake. Her visit to Aleppo is part of a six-day visit to the country with ICRC teams. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is on the ground in both Türkiye and Syria responding to emergency needs of earthquake victims.


For more information, please contact:
Adnan Hizam (Damascus): ahizam@icrc.org or +963 113 380 6205
Imene Trabelsi (Beirut): itrabelsi@icrc.org or +961 3 13 83 53
Fatima Sator (Geneva): fsator@icrc.org or +41 79 848 49 08
Jessica Moussan (Dubai): jmoussan@icrc.org or +971 50 425 4091