UN appeals for $1 billion to help Türkiye quake survivors

UN appeals for $1 billion to help Türkiye quake survivors

UN appeals for $1 billion to help Türkiye quake survivors

The United Nations launched an appeal for $1 billion on Feb.16 to help Türkiye’s victims of the catastrophic earthquake that killed thousands of people and left millions more in desperate need of aid.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that the funds would provide humanitarian relief for three months to 5.2 million people.

The money would “allow aid organizations to rapidly scale up vital support,” including in the areas of food security, protection, education, water and shelter, he added.

“The needs are enormous, people are suffering and there’s no time to lose,” Guterres implored.

“I urge the international community to step up and fully fund this critical effort in response to one of the biggest natural disasters of our times.”

Türkiye is “home to the largest number of refugees in the world and has shown enormous generosity to its Syrian neighbors for years,” Guterres said in his statement.

“Now is the time for the world to support the people of Türkiye -- just as they have stood in solidarity with others seeking assistance.”

Turkish people have experienced “unspeakable heartache,” the U.N.’s Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said in a separate statement announcing the flash appeal.

“We must stand with them in their darkest hour and ensure they receive the support they need,” added Griffiths, who heads the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

OCHA said in its statement that hundreds of thousands of people, including small children and elderly people, are suffering in freezing temperatures without access to shelter, food, water, heaters and medical care.

It added that some 47,000 buildings have been destroyed or damaged across Türkiye, with thousands of people having sought refuge in temporary shelters.

The U.N. is delivering hot meals, food, tents, warm winter clothing, blankets, mattresses, kitchen sets and medical supplies to affected areas, OCHA said.

On Feb.14, the global body launched a $397 million appeal to help quake victims in Syria.

The U.N. earlier provided $50 million towards relief efforts through its central emergency response fund.

For its part, global steel manufacturing giant ArcelorMittal, citing the “heart-breaking” devastation in Türkiye and Syria, announced on Feb.16 it has donated $5 million to help quake victims via two humanitarian organizations: Disasters Emergency Committee and Doctors Without Borders.

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