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Thursday, March 30, 2023

UN: Hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria urgently need housing and medical assistance – Reuters


According to him, given the number of displaced, injured people, as well as the level of destruction, there are great humanitarian needs in Turkey and Syria. The earthquake and strong tremors on February 6 killed around 47,000 people in Turkey, destroyed or damaged around 214,000 buildings and left hundreds of thousands homeless, making it the worst disaster in modern history. from the country. The UN estimates that around 6,000 people died in the earthquake in Syria, mostly in the rebel-held northwest of the country.

According to the Turkish government, around two million survivors have been placed in temporary centers, shelters, camps or evacuated from the quake-affected areas. About 1.5 million people have been placed in tents, another 46,000 have been moved to containers. Others live in hostels and guesthouses, the Turkish government said.

In February, the UN issued a flash appeal to member countries to provide $397.6 million to help earthquake victims in Syria and $1 billion to affected people in Turkey to cover emergency needs. emergency such as food, protection, education, water and shelter for three months. Rodriguez said Turkey’s needs are currently only 10% funded. “The reality is that if we do not exceed this figure, the UN and its partners will not be able to meet the humanitarian needs of the population”, underlined the international official.

The earthquake caused around $34.2 billion in direct physical damage, equivalent to 4% of Turkey’s GDP in 2021, according to World Bank estimates. The World Bank said the costs of recovery and reconstruction would be much higher and that GDP losses associated with economic shocks would also increase the cost of earthquakes.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces extremely difficult presidential and parliamentary elections in May, has pledged to restore hundreds of thousands of homes for earthquake victims within a year.

More than 1.74 million refugees from Syria were living in Turkey’s 11 earthquake-hit provinces, according to the UN refugee agency. The Turkish Interior Minister said that 4,267 people who died in Turkey as a result of the earthquake were Syrian citizens.

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