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UN pledges Solidarity with Earthquake-Stricken Türkiye & Syria

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New York, 7 February 2024 (WAI): Devastating earthquakes that occurred in Syria and Türkiye, the United Nations (UN) is unwavering in its resolve to offer immediate aid and support to the impacted populations.

These earthquake events occurred on February 6, 2023, close to the border between Türkiye and Syria. They caused immense devastation, taking tens of thousands of people, hurting numerous more, and uprooting innumerable families.

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The Crisis of Humanitarianism

In northwest Syria, where 4.1 million people have already depended on humanitarian aid for their lives, the earthquakes made the already poor humanitarian situation worse. Homes, schools, and hospitals were left to rubble, leaving vulnerable people in the open for a hard winter.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres sincerely pleads to the world community in the face of this monumental catastrophe. He implored them to demonstrate their kindness and charity toward migrants and internally displaced people during earlier crises.

UN Reaction and Assistance Activities

UN workers quickly responded on the ground and helped affected children and families by saving lives. Disaster assessment experts evaluated the extent of the damage, organized search and rescue operations, and sent emergency relief supplies, such as food, medical supplies, and warm blankets.

UN convoys used the Bab al-Hawa crossing to enter northern Syria and distribute shelter supplies. The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed the importance of quickly restoring health services to avoid a secondary tragedy and dispatched health supplies to assist 400,000 impacted people.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) provided food aid to about 1.7 million individuals in Syria and Türkiye.

Early Reconstruction and Rehabilitation

Given the extent of the damage, quick action is required. According to UNDP estimates, Türkiye alone may require the removal of up to 210 million tons of rubble.

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There are about 1.5 million homeless individuals, meaning 500,000 more housing units must be built. The UNDP and the government are working together to prioritize the clearance of rubble. We can deliver supplies and restore small enterprises and livelihoods.

Monetary dedication

The UN released $50 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund to initiate the response. UN Secretary-General António Guterres reaffirmed the organization’s will to take more significant action.

The United Nations launched a three-month flash appeal for $397 million to help earthquake-ravaged Syria. Additionally, a $1 billion flash appeal will provide life-saving aid to 5.2 million people in Türkiye until April.

The UN is standing together as the healing process takes shape, showing compassion, resiliency, and unwavering support for the people of Syria and Turkey at this trying time. In the face of hardship, we can repair lives and give people hope when we work together.

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