Inside Geneva: earthquakes, aid, and politics

After two devastating earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, Inside Geneva podcast host Imogen Foulkes looks at the challenges aid agencies face when compassion and humanity run up against the obstacles of geopolitics.

This content was published on February 14, 2023 minutes

Last week, two devastating earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria. In Syria, the disaster comes on top of 12 years of conflict.

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“My teams ask me, the people ask me, our partners ask me: why is this happening to us? They just came out of a bitter conflict that’s been taking place for years,” says Wael Darwish of Caritas Switzerland in Syria.

The conflict in Syria is ongoing. How will aid get to everyone in need?

“As a humanitarian of course, frustration is part of my work. We always face these situations where people’s needs are not necessarily the priority,” says Miren Bengoa of Swiss Solidarity.

Humanitarian agencies are rushing to help. Will they be able to do their job?

“We stick to being independent, impartial, neutral, but there is a lot of politics involved, unfortunately,” says James McDowell of Medair.

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For more audio content from SWI, explore The Swiss Connection, a podcast with Swiss stories for the world.

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