FAO - Syrian Arab Republic - Post-Earthquake Rapid Needs Assessment on Agricultural Livelihoods and Production in the Northwest - April 2023

Context and objectives

Two devastating earthquakes measuring 7.7 and 7.6 on the Richter scale struck southern Türkiye on 6 February 2023. The epicenter of the quakes was in the Elbistan and Pazarcık districts of Kahramanmaras province, near the border of the Syrian Arab Republic. The two earthquakes affected the neighboring Turkish provinces and governorates of the Syrian Arab Republic where around 23 million people reside, including, approximately, 1.4 million children.

In the northwest of the Syrian Arab Republic, cities like Aleppo and Idleb were badly affected with damaged buildings, many reportedly collapsing, adding to the existing humanitarian crisis in a region plagued by a conflict and refugee crisis lasting more than 12 years where more than 4 million people are dependent on aid.

The agriculture sector has already suffered from the crisis, with damages to agricultural infrastructure, difficulties accessing water for irrigation and animals, lack of access to inputs and internal displacement. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important source of food in a context of hyperinflation and economic constraints.

FAO, together with its partners in the Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster, undertook an initial assessment of the impact on communities most affected by the earthquake that depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The objective was to obtain a realistic picture of the impact of the earthquake on the agriculture sector combining an assessment of the magnitude of the damage and losses, and a more qualitative assessment of the impact on farming communities and their needs. The assessment aimed to:

  • Record the magnitude of damages and losses of agricultural assets, equipment and infrastructure, in quantities or proportions (this will also be used in the Syrian Arab Republic Earthquake Recovery Needs Assessment).
  • Assess the impact of these damages and losses, as well as other constraints, on agricultural production.
  • Assess the capacity of the communities to maintain their agricultural livelihoods.
  • Assess the impact of the earthquake on the capacity of these communities to access food.
  • Identify the priority needs of communities to support agricultural livelihoods and capacity to produce.

This assessment was conducted in March 2023 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with CARE International and nine other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), members of the Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) Cluster in the northwest of the Syrian Arab Republic: Global Communities, IYD Humanitarian Relief Association, Onsur, Sadad, Shafak, Syria Relief, Takaful Al Sham, Violet Organization and Welthungerhilfe. It was made possible thanks to the hard work of the staff who conducted the field work and provided their technical expertise.

The report data collection lasted for seven days and took place from 9 to 15 March. A total of 190 interviews were conducted in 135 communities in 17 sub-districts of Northwest Syria. The Impact-report presents key findings and recommendations for humanitarian actors to utilize in planning and implementing data-driven programming to sustain farmers’ livelihoods and build their resilience to future shocks.  

FAO NW Syria team, and the FAO Global DIEM team

Attachments download

Document Action