The catastrophic earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6 had particularly dire consequences for the millions of displaced Syrians living near the epicenter. Many of them have moved multiple times to flee violence. Since September, an outbreak of cholera has rapidly spread across Syria and entered Lebanon. And to make matters worse, international humanitarian aid is only allowed to enter northern Syria through a single border crossing, which is closed because of earthquake damage.

On this episode of the Order from Ashes podcast from Century International, Aron Lund discusses Syria’s unending catastrophe, its origins in bad governance, and what donor nations can do to help.

Years of war, drought, and climate change have ravaged Syria’s water supply and infrastructure, forcing half of the population to drink unsafe water. Now, the earthquake has compounded the damage to Syria’s built environment, exacerbating Syria’s already dire humanitarian situation.

Read more about the human and environmental origins of Syria’s deadly cholera outbreak in Aron’s Century International report “Cholera in the Time of Assad.”


  • Aron Lund, fellow, Century International
  • Thanassis Cambanis, director, Century International