Earlier this month southern Turkey and western Syria were struck with multiple earthquakes that ranged from 7.8 magnitudes to 4.2 magnitudes on the Richter scale. The sudden and frequent earthquake quite literally shook up the people of that region and the entire world. The entire world united and sent the affected regions aid in form of food, damage control, and infrastructure raw material.
“Even without verified numbers it’s tragically clear the number of children killed, the number of children orphaned is going to keep on rising”,” said UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson James Elder.
Eight days after the tragedy, as the humanitarian focus moved from rescue to recovery, Mr. Elder cautioned that incidences of hypothermia and respiratory diseases were rising among children and pleaded for continuing support for all those impacted by the situation.
Om Mohamed observed the fragmented remains of her neighborhood as she lived in one of the worst-affected locations in Syria. “When I woke up, I discovered that I had lost everything in a single instant, including my home, clothes, money, and everything else. I’m dumbfounded because I don’t have any hope left for survival.
The situation was equally hopeless in Aleppo. According to Mohannad, “My home was my shelter and haven for me and my kids, but now I am so terrified to go back there – it can collapse at any minute.” Since then, she has sought safety on the streets.
Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, stated in its most recent situation assessment for Turkiye that the disaster had claimed the lives of over 31,000 people. Over 100,000 people had been hurt across the 10 impacted southern regions.
Need For Aid
The WFP official stated that hot meals and ready-to-eat food had been provided in shelters within hours of the tragedy, using pre-positioned stockpiles, highlighting the UN’s significant efforts to provide aid to those directly affected by the incident.
In addition to the aid that the UN agency provides “in sadly the same areas through our normal programs,” Mr. Crossley stated, “WFP has also supplied food assistance to 60-70,000 quake-affected people in Government-controlled areas of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia.”
The UN migration agency, IOM, a key participant in the relief effort, reported that four lorries left the UN’s aid hub in Gaziantep headed for Bab al-Hawa on Tuesday and that 11 trucks packed with relief supplies had been sent to Bab Al-Salam in northwest Syria, one of the border crossings that had been reopened.
The UN health agency’s reaction has included supporting initiatives to stop the spread of infectious diseases, hygiene and sanitation problems, and new health problems related to cold weather.
According to Turkish authorities’ estimations, 80,000 people are hospitalized in Türkiye, where an estimated one million people have lost their houses and are now living in temporary shelters, “putting significant pressure on the health system, itself seriously wounded by the tragedy.” Dr. Klug continued.