News “Thousands of children at risk in Turkey and Syria.” Last Minute WORLD, CURRENT headlines and events
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement that thousands of children and families are at risk after two major earthquakes and multiple aftershocks have affected southern and eastern Turkey and Syria.
The statement said more than 2,300 people, including children, have died in the two countries, and thousands have been injured, according to authorities, and the numbers are likely to rise. UNICEF reportedly coordinated with the Turkish government and AFAD to focus on emerging needs. In Syria, UNICEF is assessing the impact of earthquakes and is preparing to support humanitarian assistance in coordination with its partners.
UNICEF noted that the destruction of thousands of residences left families vulnerable to winter conditions with sub-zero temperatures, snowfall and freezing rain, with heavy snowfall expected in the region.
UNICEF Director Katherine Russell said: “The pictures from Syria and Turkey are heartbreaking. The fact that the first earthquake occurred very early in the morning, when many children were asleep, further exacerbated the severity of the situation. Risk persists due to aftershocks. “Our first priority is to provide the children and families affected by the earthquake with the support they desperately need,” he said.
UNICEF noted that schools, hospitals and other health and educational facilities were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, which further affected children. It was emphasized that damage to the road and other critical infrastructure will complicate search and rescue operations and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Noting that children in Syria are particularly vulnerable to one of the most difficult humanitarian situations in the world, it was stressed that a deepening economic crisis, more than a decade of conflict, mass displacement and destroyed public infrastructure have left two-thirds of the Syrian population in need of assistance. It has been stated that food insecurity, unreliable water resources and high dropout rates are very serious problems in Syria.
According to UNICEF, one of the deadliest threats children and families face is water-borne infectious diseases. It was emphasized that the cholera epidemic, which was announced on September 10, 2022 in Syria, has quickly spread throughout the country, and that children are particularly vulnerable to cholera.
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