Syria-Trkiye Earthquake Response - hero

Syrians lining up at WHO mobile clinic
UN teams in Syria are on the ground providing lifesaving assistance to impacted children and families. Photo: ? UNICEF/UN0781585/Al-Asadi

 

In the face of this epic disaster, I strongly appeal to the international community to show the people of Trkiye and Syria the same kind of support and generosity with which they received, protected and assisted millions of refugees and displaced people in an enormous show of solidarity.

UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres

 

Trkiye-Syria Earthquake

The devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake near the Trkiye-Syria border in the early hours of Monday 6 February 2023 was followed by another one nearly as strong. The earthquakes that struck Trkiye and Syria caused one of the biggest disasters to impact the region in recent times. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and many more have been injured. Thousands of buildings have collapsed, leaving countless people exposed to unforgiving winter conditions. Schools and hospitals have been destroyed.

The earthquakes struck as the humanitarian crisis in northwest Syria was already at the highest level since the conflict began, with 4.1 million people relying on humanitarian assistance to subsist.

Response on the ground

and its agencies are deploying disaster assessment experts; coordinating search and rescue teams; providing emergency relief, food, medical supplies, thermal blankets and other life-saving items. UN convoys have crossed into northern Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing delivering shelter and relief supplies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent health supplies to reach 400,000 people impacted by the earthquake. The agency warns that health services need to be restored rapidly to avoid a secondary disaster that may harm many more.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is delivering food assistance and has reached almost 1.7 million people in the two countries.

Early recovery

With countless buildings destroyed, (UNDP) early estimates are that up to 210 million tonnes of rubble will need to be cleared in Trkiye alone. The estimated area of debris is equivalent to an area 10 km by 10 km C equivalent to 14,000 soccer fields covered in debris piled one meter high. The destruction has left 1.5 million people homeless and will require the construction of 500,000 new housing units to compensate. UNDP is supporting the Government to remove rubble first C clearing the way to then help vital deliveries of food, water and other supplies, and to begin help restore livelihoods and revive small businesses. 

Funding

The UN has released $50 million from its to jumpstart the response. 

Secretary-General Antnio Guterres said the UN is committed to doing much more. On 14 February the UN issued a for the people of earthquake-ravaged Syria, to cover a period of 3 months. On 16 February the UN launched a to provide life-saving assistance to 5.2 million people in Trkiye through April.

 

Here is how you can help:

A massive search and rescue operation continues and humanitarian partners are rapidly ramping up efforts to provide life-saving assistance.

You can help too.

 

To meet the urgent food needs, WFP is appealing for US$46 million. This includes hot meals and food rations to 200,000 newly displaced people in Syria and 300,000 people in Trkiye, including 70,000 refugees.

 

WHO is deploying emergency medical teams to treat injured people, support health workers and maintain essential health services immediately following the earthquake and into the future.

 

The earthquake has destroyed peoples homes and local infrastructurefamilies are in urgent need of relief items and shelter. Severe winter storms are sweeping through the region. UNHCR is on the ground with emergency items including tents, blankets, and hygiene items.  Donate to the

 

 

The freezing cold, lack of shelter, food, water and medical facilities is creating ever-graver humanitarian needs. IOM remains committed to providing necessary support to its national and local partners to ensure uninterrupted humanitarian aid and availability of lifesaving supplies, including shelter. 

 

UNICEFs response is focused on child protection, providing immediate psycho-social support, assessing of main water stations and respective services, as well as health and nutrition needs.

 

 

UN Women is actively working with partners on the ground to assess the situation and secure life-saving essential items that will help women, girls, and their families. 

 

Women and girls are among the most affected by the earthquake. This includes tens of thousands of pregnant women. UNFPA's team on the ground is delivering life-saving services including maternal and reproductive health services as well as gender-based violence response services.

 

The magnitude of the disaster means that recovery will be long and difficult. Clearing away mountains of rubble is the top priority area of support for UNDP in its response to the disaster, along with restoring livelihoods and reviving small businesses.