Earthquake disaster latest: fresh snow compounds Syrians’ misery

We already have a very vulnerable situation; People (are) already vulnerable, unable to take care of themselves… and suddenly this comes,” said El-Mostafa Benlamlih, UN Resident Coordinator for Syria.

progress lost

“All the achievements we had before, everyone who had a small business lost that business, who could go to school cannot go to school, women who could go to shelters cannot go to shelters.

Mr Benlamlih warned that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance – currently 15.3 million – needs to be revised upwards.

Via video link from Damascus, Mr Benlamlih told reporters in New York 10.9 million people in Syria were affected by the disaster in the northwestern governorates of Hama, Latakia, Idlib, Aleppo and Tartus.

Some In Aleppo alone, 100,000 people are said to be homelessthe humanitarian official continued as he described how just 30,000 of that number had found refuge in schools and mosques.

Those are the lucky ones‘ he said, before stressing that the remaining 70,000 ‘have snow, they have cold and they live in a terrible situation’.

El-Mostafa Benlamlih, United Nations resident and ad interim humanitarian coordinator for Syria.

El-Mostafa Benlamlih, United Nations resident and ad interim humanitarian coordinator for Syria.

Aid lifeline at the latest

Confirm that Roads leading to the only permitted cross-border aid route have been damaged from Türkiye near Bab al-Hawa to northwestern Syria, the UN resident coordinator for Syria said he was confident the border crossing would reopen on Thursday.

“Luckily today we hear the road will be open…we hope to be able to deliver something across the border tomorrowHe said, stressing that UN relief teams and partners began work “from the first hour of the disaster,” using prepackaged stocks of food, dignity and medical kits.

reach people

Muhannad Hadi, the United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syrian Crisis, also reiterated at the briefing the urgent need to provide assistance to those who need it.

“It is our goal Reaching people, crossing borders and lines are just modalities for us complement each other,” he says.

“The most important thing is that we reach people during this time, people who are desperate for help in this very desperate situation. We see pictures on TV, children stranded in a very severe cold winter, it’s snowing, it’s really heartbreaking.”

Three days after the double earthquake in neighboring Türkiye, the situation in Syria is still dire and even more precarious.

The UN Relief Coordinating Office, OCHA, also pointed out that UN staff and contractors working in Gaziantep were also directly affected by the disaster, with some searching for their families in the rubble.

More than 50 emergency and search and rescue teams have been deployed to the region, and OCHA has also reported that the UN has provided $25 million in emergency relief funds to support the response.

Thousands of children and families are at risk after two devastating earthquakes hit southeastern Turkiye and Syria on February 6, 2023.

Thousands of children and families are at risk after two devastating earthquakes hit southeastern Turkiye and Syria on February 6, 2023.

The World Food Program WFP, tweeted that truck in Türkiye had left its camps in Ankara with food for around 17,000 affected people who are now seeking shelter in the Osmaniye Cevdetiye camp.

The agency said in a press release issued later Wednesday that it plans to reach out to her half a million people in both countries with much-needed food aid.

Tens of thousands already reached: WFP

As of Wednesday morning, WFP had reached nearly 64,000 people in dire need of food assistance, providing ready-to-eat meal rations, family food packs and hot meals. The food distributed does not require cooking and provides immediate relief to families whose plight is made worse by sub-zero temperatures,” the agency reported.

In the southeast of Türkiye, the emergency aid agency is coordinating with the authorities to distribute food packages for families to people in makeshift camps. The camps already house around 44,000 Syrians under temporary protection and now include newly displaced Turkish nationals.

Where there is no longer access to regular supermarkets, WFP plans to provide for families Food packages for Turkish nationals for up to two weeks while services stabilize.

In Syria, WFP and its local partners have delivered ready-made rations and daily hot meals to 38,000 affected people in shelters.

“The world woke up to devastating news on Monday. A region plagued by years of deepening crises faces another one of unimaginable loss and destruction. Immediate relief cannot be delayed‘ said WFP Regional Director for the wider region, Corinne Fleischer. “WFP’s strong presence in both countries allowed us to immediately mobilize our people, logistics capabilities and partners to respond to people’s most pressing food needs.”

And in north-west Syria, the tremors have further complicated an acute humanitarian crisis, WFP said, in which 4.1 million people – or 90 percent of the population – are already dependent on humanitarian aid. Of these, almost three million people have been displaced by conflict – often more than once.

WFP staff killed

WFP has enough ready-to-eat food in north-west Syria to help 125,000 people and is making it available to local partners.

The agency stressed that it “mourns all the lives lost in this tragedy,” which is sad includes at least one employee.

WHO releases $3 million

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in Geneva late Wednesday that it was releasing $3 million from its contingency fund for emergencies for the response in both countries, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“WHO is providing medical supplies, supporting both countries in the response and working with partners to provide specialized medical supplies.”

He said a total of three flights were to bring medical supplies including surgical trauma kits, two of which arrived in the operating room within hours. He also said that 77 national and 13 international medical emergency teams made up of health professionals from around the world are on duty.

He pointed to the additional danger of the ongoing cholera outbreak in Syria, which has already infected around 85,000 people there.


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