UN continue to deliver quake-related aid to Syria, Turkey


United Nations: The UN and its specialised agencies have continued delivering aid to Turkey and Syria following the devastating February 6 quakes that killed more than 53,300 people in the two countries, a spokesman said.

In Syria, at least 8.8 million people were affected by the earthquakes, which, among other factors, also have a significant impact on the response to a cholera outbreak, said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“Our partners launched a cholera vaccination campaign in earthquake-hit areas of Northwest Syria on Tuesday,” Xinhua news agency quoted Haq as saying.

“They plan to distribute 1.7 million vaccine doses in high-risk areas. More than 53,000 suspected cholera cases and 23 associated deaths have been reported in Northwest Syria as of March 5.”

More than 100,000 people who had their water infrastructure damaged received water since the start of the response, he said.

Humanitarian workers have also provided hygiene kits to more than 100,000 people in reception centres.

“Our colleagues also tell us that 3.7 million children in earthquake-affected areas across Syria are facing the risk of contracting diseases and lack access to basic services,” Haq told a regular briefing.

He said the Syria earthquake flash appeal has received $218 million, or 55 per cent, of the nearly $400 million needed.

Turning to Turkey, the spokesman said the world body continues to support the government-led response to the massive earthquakes.

“The UN and our partners have provided more than 42,000 tents and hundreds of thousands of blankets, bedsheets and mattresses,” he said.

“More than 900,000 people have received food assistance and the World Food Programme has supplied more than 5.7 million food packages and hot meals.”

Haq said the World Health Organization provides healthcare to nearly 24,000 people.

The Unicef reached 319,000 people, including more than 183,000 children, with hygiene kits and non-food items, winter clothes and heaters, among other critical supplies.

However, Haq said the Turkey earthquake appeal of $1 billion is only 10.4 per cent funded.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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