Syria – Humanitarian catastrophe after the earthquake. Appeal of the Salesians who continue to welcome: "Welcome, this is everyone's home"

09 February 2023

(ANS - Aleppo) - A nightmare scenario is gradually unfolding following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The already heavy toll in terms of lives and destruction is worsening with each passing hour and day, and the needs of the survivors are innumerable. From Syria, the Middle East Provincial, Fr. Alejandro León, sent a brief update on the efforts of the Salesians in Aleppo and especially to launch an appeal for closeness, prayer and solidarity with the people tried by yet another humanitarian catastrophe.

The death toll from the extremely violent earthquake, which struck the region where Syria and Turkey border, is rising by the hour and some fear it will reach far above current estimates. There is now talk globally of more than 15,000 people dead. In addition to the casualties, the earthquake has caused tens of thousands of injuries, 63 thousand in Turkey alone. Rescuers meanwhile are working day and night to search for possible survivors under the rubble. With a greater complication in Syria, where many of the collapsed houses in the north of the country are out of the control of the government army and data provided by authorities do not include several northern areas.

To inform us about the situation and the efforts of the Salesians at this juncture, the Delegation of Social Communication of the Middle East Province (MOR) released a short video message from the MOR Provincial, filmed on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 8; it can be seen in its original version on ANSChannel, the ANS YouTube channel.

It contains the touching testimony and a calm but firm appeal for prayer and solidarity. Here are Fr. León's words:

"Dear Salesian Family, greetings from Aleppo, an Aleppo that is going through an extremely difficult time, but that never loses hope. People are fighting for their lives, they are fighting for a better future. It's been 3 very difficult days: talking a little bit about numbers, the first night 300 people were here to sleep; the second night it was 420 and now, as of nine o'clock in the evening, more than 500 people are seeking asylum. To everyone we are saying, 'Welcome,' this is the house of the Salesians, the Church is the house of God and it is the house of everyone.

It is certainly very difficult to manage all this movement of people, and with so many, truly many needs, that really risks being a humanitarian tragedy.

We really ask, to the extent that we can, that there be your solidarity, especially in prayer and affection for these brothers and sisters of ours of the Syrian people, who have been suffering for 12 years already: from wars, persecution, looting, the coronavirus, a devaluation of the currency to incredible levels, and now this terrible earthquake.

They are wonderful people, they are beautiful people, who carry on with a smile despite all the difficulties, and with so many gestures of internal solidarity. We truly believe in your support and help and we ask Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco to bless tormented Syria."

All over the world, meanwhile, the relief machine has come into full swing and is arriving from many countries. The same thing is also happening throughout the Salesian Family, where entire Provinces, Salesian Mission Offices, Salesian Planning and Development Offices and Salesian NGOs are working on planning aid and fundraising campaigns.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Salesians of Italy also issued a joint communiqué on the various initiatives activated in the six Provinces to support the people of Syria and Turkey. Through the efforts of the Missionary Animation, several proposals have been activated, which can be found in the official channels of each Province.

Piedmont and Aosta Valley Special Circumscription - 

Lombardia-Emilia Province - 

Northeastern Italy Province - 

Salesian Circumscription Central Italy - 

Southern Italy Province - 

Sicilian Province - 


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".