Earthquake in Turkey, Syria affects about 26 million people

Photo captions
Rescuers rescue victims from the rubble after an earthquake in Kirikhan, Turkey, February 10, 2023. Photo: AFP/VNA

As the death toll from the quake surpasses 25,000, WHO has called for $42.8 million to help address immediate medical needs.

WHO, which has disbursed $16 million from the emergency fund, previously said up to 23 million people could be affected. However, that number has grown to nearly 26 million, with 15 million affected in Turkey and nearly 11 million in war-torn Syria. Of these, more than 5 million people are considered particularly vulnerable, including nearly 350,000 elderly people and more than 1.4 million children.

WHO estimates that in Turkey, where more than 4,000 buildings collapsed in the earthquake, 15 hospitals suffered partial or severe damage. And in Syria, where the health care system has been devastated after 12 years of civil war, at least 20 medical facilities across the northwest of the country have been greatly affected, including four hospitals that have been severely damaged. . This makes it even more difficult to help the tens of thousands of people injured in disasters, WHO warns. While emergency care facilities are overwhelmed with trauma patients, essential medical services have been severely disrupted.

WHO emphasizes the urgency of caring for the traumatized, providing post-traumatic recovery care, providing essential medicines, preventing and controlling disease outbreaks, and supporting mental health.

On Twitter, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who arrived in the city of Aleppo (Syria) on February 11, said he was “deeply heartbroken to see the plight that survivors are facing. .. cold weather and extremely limited access to shelter, food, water, heating equipment and medical care.”

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