Earthquake: WHO Reports 23 Million May Be Affected in Turkey and Syria.
The recent earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria has had a significant impact on both countries, with an estimated 23 million people, including 1.4 million children, affected.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported on the situation, noting that while Turkey has the capacity to respond to the crisis, the main unmet needs will likely be across the border in Syria, which is already grappling with a years-long humanitarian crisis due to the civil war and a cholera outbreak.
At a WHO board meeting in Geneva, Adelheid Marschang, the organization’s Senior Emergency Officer, stated that the earthquake has created “a crisis on top of multiple crises” in the region, with humanitarian funding continuing to decline. Marschang noted that all across Syria, the needs are the highest they have been in nearly 12 years of a prolonged, complex crisis.
“This is a crisis on top of multiple crises in the affected region said at the organization’s board meeting in Geneva,” she said.
“All over Syria, the needs are the highest after nearly 12 years of protracted, complex crisis, while humanitarian funding continues to decline.”
In response to the disaster, WHO is taking immediate action by dispatching emergency supplies, including trauma and emergency surgical kits, and activating a network of emergency medical teams.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has described the situation as a race against time, with the chances of finding survivors alive diminishing with each passing hour. He is particularly concerned about areas in Turkey and Syria where no information has emerged since the earthquake.
To better allocate resources, the WHO is focusing its attention on damage mapping, which will help the organization understand where to direct its efforts. The organization is working tirelessly to provide support and assistance to those affected by the disaster and to help mitigate the effects of the crisis.
The earthquake is a stark reminder of the importance of preparedness and the need for continued investment in disaster risk reduction measures.
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