We at IDOS are deeply saddened by the loss of life and widespread destruction caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts are with the people in the affected regions.
In our work, we not only cooperate with partners from research, policy and training worldwide, but also have close personal ties. Against this background, we advocate that humanitarian aid to all affected people must have absolute priority, regardless of their nationality, ethnic origin, religious affiliation or political loyalty. Under all circumstances, humanitarian corridors must immediately be opened in the Turkish-Syrian border area and between different regions of Syria. In this very region, the population has been suffering for years from armed conflict and destroyed infrastructure as a result of the Syrian conflict and Turkish-Kurdish tensions.
Beyond the affected countries themselves, this tragedy probes the entire international community on its humanitarian responsibility. It is encouraging to see that, despite diplomatic tensions in the region and beyond, many countries show solidarity. In view of the immense tragedy, the basic human need for peaceful and sustainable development – also in the sense of the Sustainable Development Goals – is all the more evident. Despite existing conflicts in the region, this principle should guide not only emergency aid but also reconstruction in the affected areas – in local as well as regional and international cooperation.