A month after quake, survivors struggle for shelter, sanitation
A month after a powerful earthquake destroyed many parts Turkey And SyriaHundreds of thousands of people still need adequate shelter and sanitation, and a USD 1 billion appeal to help survivors has received only 10 percent of funding, a UN official said on Monday. hampers the efforts, a UN official said on Monday.
The February 6 earthquake and aftershocks killed nearly 47,000 people in Turkey, destroyed or damaged nearly 214,000 buildings, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, making it the deadliest disaster in Turkey’s modern history. is
The United Nations estimates the earthquake killed about 6,000 people in Syria, mainly in the rebel-held northwest.
According to Turkish government figures, about 2 million survivors have been placed in temporary housing or evacuated from the earthquake-ravaged area.
About 1.5 million people have been housed in tents while another 46,000 have been moved to container homes. Others are staying in dormitories and guest houses, the government said.
“Given the number of people who have been displaced, the number of people injured and the level of destruction, we now have extensive humanitarian needs,” explained Alvaro Rodríguez, the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkey. Pres.
“We have some provinces where 25 percent of the population, we’re talking sometimes, five million people, have been resettled. So the challenge we have is how do we provide food, shelter, water for these communities,” he said .
The UN representative said tents were still needed even though they were not the “best solution” for sheltering people. He reported a few cases of scabies outbreaks due to poor sanitary conditions.
Last month, the United Nations appealed for USD 397.6 million to help earthquake victims in Syria and USD 1 billion for victims in Turkey to meet emergency needs such as food, safety, education, water and shelter for three months. Rodriguez said the appeal for Turkey is only 10 percent of the funds.
Also Read: Turkey, Syria earthquake: Syrians shelter in tents and cars as death toll tops 47,000
“The reality is that if we don’t go beyond the roughly 10 percent that we have, the United Nations and its partners will not be able to meet humanitarian needs,” he said.
Rodríguez added: “Turkey has been a country that has supported 4 million Syrian refugees in the past few years, and this is an opportunity for the international community to provide the support that Turkey deserves.”
The World Bank estimated that the earthquake caused an estimated USD 34.2 billion in direct physical damage – equivalent to 4 percent of Turkey’s 2021 GDP. The World Bank said recovery and reconstruction costs would be high and GDP losses associated with economic disruptions would also add to the cost of earthquakes.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces tough presidential and parliamentary elections in May, has pledged to rebuild millions of homes for earthquake victims within a year.
According to the United Nations refugee agency, more than 1.74 million refugees lived in the 11 Turkish provinces affected by the earthquake. Turkey’s interior minister said 4,267 of those killed in Turkey were Syrian nationals.
About 40,000 Syrians in Turkey have returned home to check on family or economic assets such as land or housing that could be affected by the earthquake, Rodriguez said.
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