In the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that struck Syria in February 2023, the Syrian Salvation Government (SSG) has been working to provide housing for the victims. Led by Ahmed Al-Qasim, the head of the Central Housing Department in the Ministry of Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the SSG has made significant strides in relocating affected families to safe and stable living conditions.
According to Al-Qasim, the Central Housing Department has successfully transferred approximately 10,000 families to concrete and prefabricated housing units in collaboration with humanitarian organizations and local associations. This initiative has been crucial in addressing the immediate housing needs of those impacted by the earthquakes.
The transfer operations have encompassed families residing in temporary shelter centers established post-earthquake, totaling 113 centers. Al-Qasim highlighted that while most families have been relocated, efforts are ongoing to complete the transfer of families in the city of Harem to the Molham Volunteer Team Residential City once construction work is finished.
Notably, families living in shelter centers have been given priority in transportation to residential apartments. However, Al-Qasim emphasized that the humanitarian need of the affected families remains substantial, with thousands still living in rental homes, with relatives, or in displacement camps. As a result, the SSG is preparing a comprehensive plan to address the housing requirements of these families in the near future.
The homes to which the families have been relocated come in two types, as outlined by Al-Qasim. The first type consists of concrete dwellings with two rooms, toilet, washroom, kitchen and a small loft storage. The second type comprises prefabricated homes (caravans) with an area of approximately 45 square meters. These housing units are equipped with sanitation services, a road network, and in some residential villages, provisions for free water, bread, and food baskets.
Looking ahead, the SSG is actively working on the construction of around a thousand additional residential apartments to accommodate more families affected by the earthquakes. This proactive approach reflects the government’s commitment to addressing the ongoing housing challenges faced by the earthquake victims.
Through strategic partnerships with humanitarian organizations and local associations, the SSG has successfully relocated thousands of families to safe and sustainable living environments, with plans underway to further expand housing provisions. As the SSG continues to prioritize the welfare of affected families, these initiatives serve as a testament to the government’s dedication to supporting and rebuilding communities in the wake of natural disasters.