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Order of Malta Australia


Malteser International: Border to Syria is Open – Aid is on its Way


While international aid workers have arrived in Türkiye and are helping with rescue activities and the distribution of relief supplies, the situation in Syria remains highly precarious. “We are trying to provide for the people who survived and are now enduring in the cold. We haven’t had electricity since Monday, it’s only slowly coming back, everything is somehow scarce – it’s extremely difficult,” reports Hassan Alam, who works for Malteser International’s Syrian partner organization Hand in Hand for Aid and Development in northwestern Syria.

Particularly traumatic for the Syrian aid workers: “People were calling for help, we could hear them but couldn’t get through to them. We have no equipment, no machines and had to dig with our own hands – it was very, very bad,” says Hassan Alam. “We hope more aid will come, including heavy equipment.”

Relief deliveries across the Turkish-Syrian border are currently progressing slowly, and the processing through the only open border crossing with Türkiye at Bab Al-Hawa runs sluggishly. This is due to delays caused by damage to transport infrastructure in the Hatay region and staff shortages at the border. “We hope that more border crossings will be opened for relief supplies and that more aid can reach the region,” says Oliver Hochedez, who coordinates Malteser International’s emergency relief efforts for Türkiye and Syria from the Turkish border town of Kilis. “Our Syrian partner organizations have received financial assistance from us to purchase goods available on the Syrian market, such as food and blankets, and to distribute them quickly.”

Malteser International is currently supporting six hospitals, a maternity clinic with children’s hospital, and eight primary health care units in the Idlib and north Aleppo regions of northwestern Syria. The aid projects in the Syrian border region are managed from Türkiye. Relief supplies are distributed through local partner organizations. Malteser has been involved with the region through humanitarian work for several years.

Donations to assist those imapcted by the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria  can be made to our Emergency Relief  Fund. Gifts $2 and more are tax deductible for Australian taxpayers.

Malteser International (MI) works as an international humanitarian aid organization. It is an aid organization of the Catholic Order of Malta and particularly fulfills the order’s mission of “helping those in need”. The mission is to improve the health and living conditions of suffering and displaced people worldwide. The organization provides aid to people in need in over 140 projects in 35 countries, regardless of religion, political persuasion, origin or gender. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence form the basis of its work. Further information:

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.