UN launches $1 billion humanitarian appeal for earthquake-hit Türkiye

The UN launched a $1 billion humanitarian appeal for victims in Türkiye affected by earthquakes that occurred Feb. 6.

"Today the United Nations is launching a $1 billion humanitarian appeal for the people of Türkiye suffering from the most devastating earthquakes to hit the country in a century," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

"The funding – which covers a three-month period -- will assist 5.2 million people and allow aid organizations to rapidly scale up vital support for Government-led relief efforts in a number of areas including food security, protection, education, water and shelter," said the statement.

Guterres said: "Türkiye is home to the largest number of refugees in the world and has shown enormous generosity to its Syrian neighbors for years".

"Now is the time for the world to support the people of Türkiye – just as they have stood in solidarity with others seeking assistance," he said. "The needs are enormous, people are suffering and there’s no time to lose."

Guterres also urged "the international community to step up and fully fund this critical effort in response to one of the biggest natural disasters of our times".

At least 36,187 people have been killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye, the country's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said Thursday.

The 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa and Elazig.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong that struck in the space of less than 10 hours.

Source: Anadolu Agency