Action Against Hunger distributes more than 26300 hot meals to earthquake affected families in Syria during Ramadan
Action Against Hunger has been working hand in hand during most of April with Syrian NGOs to provide iftar hot meals during the month of Ramadan to those families affected by the deadly earthquakes that shocked Syria and Turkey last February. Having to flee their homes and still residing in shelters, 2380 people found some relief during this special time of the year thanks to receiving more than 26300 meals during Ramadan from Action Against Hunger and his local partners.
A Syrian woman receives a hot meal before iftar, the night-time meal that breaks the daily fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan © Action Against Hunger.
The distribution took place in 18 shelters and collective centres in the areas affected by this disaster in northern Syria, allowing families to come together to break their fast and enjoy a communal meal, which is central to the Ramadan tradition.
“For over three months, my family and I didn’t eat meat, until Action Against Hunger started distributing this delicious food. You can’t imagine the impact of your great work. Yes, we want many other needs to be covered, but what you have provided was the top priority.", said Mouna, a 31-year-old mother of seven: three sons, and four daughters.
Without a home since the earthquakes, they were already in a vulnerable situation as her husband suffers from Rheumatisms and many joint problems that prevent him from working and his eldest son has a physical disability and issues to eat many different foods items.
The burden of supporting the family fell upon her second son, who works as a porter to earn 80,000 SYP (about 9.5 Euros) weekly. For months now, they all live in a stall at a market where earthquake-affected families are residing and sharing small rooms, divided only with curtains.
A Syrian girl affected by February's earthquakes eats one of the hot meals distributed by Action Against Hunger © Action Against Hunger.
For all these families, food is a top priority, although given the situation most of them didn’t count on being able to celebrate the breaking of the fast as they would have liked to. Action Against Hunger’s main goal with this intervention was to sustain food consumption. Therefore, all the provided meals were in line with household food preferences, which helped to improve their dietary diversity, allowing all members to access meat, dairy products, cereals, vegetables, and fat/oil.
Different meals were provided each day, such as frikeh with meat and rice, summakie, and mlukhie, or denje'c'jute, with rice.
Noura, a Syrian single mother, shares her story with an Action Against Hunger worker with her seven-year-old twin girls © Action Against Hunger.
Noura, a 42-year-old single mother living with her 12-year-old son, and 7-year-old twins, who have Down Syndrome, in a collective shelter in a school thanked Action Against Hunger for the distribution of hot meals “especially being Ramadan and all the prices increasing rapidly. I hope you continue these types of activities with my family even if we leave the shelter”.
If her family food needs continue to be covered, Noura hopes to be able to send her son back to school, after having to ask him to quit and work at a show workshop, where he only earns 35,000 SYP (about 4.5 euros) weekly, since before the earthquake they already depended entirely on her relatives’ financial support.
Although three months have passed since the earthquakes, the need to provide support in many forms, like food, for those affected, continues. Action Against Hunger will continue collaborating with Syrian NGOs to provide an additional 16000 hot meals in the upcoming weeks.