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UN reiterates flash appeal for Turkish earthquake relief

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The United Nations Friday reiterated its funding call for a $1 billion flash appeal for Türkiye as the two-month mark of the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes draws near.

Jens Laerke, the spokesperson told Anadolu Agency (AA) about the current state of relief efforts for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, saying: “Now we are in what we call the humanitarian emergency phase, where we look at essentially, what do the survivors need, how can we support who have survived this devastating earthquake.”

Noting that they have a three-month window for this phase, he told reporters in Geneva: “That’s why I am still calling for funding for this emergency flash appeal … it will do good for months to come.”

On the money already raised at a March 20 International Donors’ Conference in Brussels, he said that it is currently “transitioning from the immediate acute emergency to humanitarian response and into, little by little, recovery and rehabilitation.”

$268M donated so far

Laerke said that as of Friday, donors have donated $268 million for the U.N. $1 billion flash appeal, which launched on Feb. 16.

The top five donors are the U.S., Kuwait, the European Commission, the U.N.’s emergency fund CERF, and Saudi Arabia, he added.

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“We thank all our donors and encourage continued support for the flash appeal,” he said.

UN agencies’ 2-month response

Over 4.1 million people have received clothing and essential household items from U.N. agencies and U.N. partners, including supplies for cooking, sleeping, and heating, Laerke said, updating the numbers of U.N. agencies’ response in Türkiye.

Over 700,000 people have received assistance to better their living conditions, including tents, special relief housing units, repair toolkits, and tarpaulins, while nearly 3 million have received emergency food assistance.

Additionally, he said, 1.6 million individuals have gotten assistance with water, sanitation, and hygiene, and close to one million liters of drinking water have been distributed.

He said that they also supported the Turkish Health Ministry with 4.6 million vaccine doses, 16 mobile health clinics, as well as medicines and medical supplies for reproductive health and trauma care.

The 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude quakes struck 11 provinces in southern Türkiye last month, claiming over 50,000 lives. Over 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the quakes, as well as many others in northern Syria.

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Source: Daily Sabah

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