The enduring effects of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria after a period of three months.

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Humanitarian workers in the region affected by the Turkey-Syria earthquakes, which happened three months ago, are still grappling with the ongoing needs of survivors. According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the earthquakes killed 50,000 people in Turkey and injured over 100,000. Additionally, 5.2 million people need humanitarian assistance, with over 2.4 million people still in settlements. A major challenge has been the harsh weather conditions, which are still affecting vulnerable areas in Turkey, leaving many families exposed to the elements.

In addition, the earthquake has had a significant impact on displaced children. In Turkey, 2.5 million children have been separated from their families, and some have lost their parents. Providing psychological support and access to education is vital for UNICEF. As for Syria, after more than 7,000 deaths and 10,400 injuries recorded from the earthquakes’ impact, humanitarian efforts remain even more complicated within the context of an ongoing civil war in the region. Aid comes through the Bab-al-Hawa crossing on the Turkey-Syria border, around 50 kilometres from Aleppo.

The earthquake has had a knock-on effect on both southern Turkey and northwest Syria’s water infrastructure. Northwest Syria was already experiencing a cholera outbreak, and lack of access to clean water will only allow diseases to spread further. Many survivors are also living with psychological trauma. It has been estimated that around one million people in northwest Syria are in need of mental health support. It affects people’s ability to feel safe and secure.

The earthquake has become a major issue in the Turkish election campaigns scheduled for May 14. Turkey’s economic outlook was already in crisis before the earthquake. The current government is defending its response, while the opposition argues that it has been too slow. Whoever wins the election will be responsible for the reconstruction of Turkey’s regions and implementing plans for a better future.

SOURCE: Ref- Mario Bowden

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