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Philippe Leclerc, UNHCR representative in Turkey, said in a statement that AFAD-led search and rescue teams have rescued 8,000 people and that the UNHCR team and the support of many countries will be involved in these activities.

Leclerc stressed that the 10 provinces affected by the earthquake in Turkey also host one of the world’s largest groups of refugees, and recalled that more than 1,700,000 of the 15 million people in these 10 provinces are Syrian refugees. Leclerc said: “For example, every second person living in Kilis is a refugee. Every fourth or fifth person in Gaziantep, Sanliurfa and Hatay is a refugee.”

Noting that UNHCR and other United Nations agencies are open to supporting the Turkish government, Leclerc said: “The efforts led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Food Program (WFP), the Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Population Fund (UNFPA) ), AFAD “He worked tirelessly to support it,” he said.

According to Leclerc, UNHCR and other UN agencies are contributing to the Turkish authorities’ efforts to rescue both Turkish citizens and refugees by providing items such as kitchen utensils, beds and tents as required by the Turkish authorities.

Stressing that the Turkish authorities are implementing their humanitarian assistance efforts in a comprehensive and non-selective manner, Leclerc said that all victims are treated equally, regardless of Turkish or Syrian differences, as has been the case for more than 12 years.

Leclerc said the refugees were just as affected by the earthquake as Turkish citizens.

Leclerc said: “Refugees lived side by side with Turkish citizens in destroyed buildings. They participate voluntarily under the coordination of AFAD. There is no difference between refugees and Turkish citizens. They live and suffer in the same way.”

According to Leclerc, a total of 47,000 refugees live in temporary shelters in 7 camps in 10 provinces. While stating that earthquake victims could be transferred to these camps, Leclerc stressed that there is a great need to support those in their homes due to the collapse of many buildings.

“At this stage, we do not see any difference between the needs of refugees and Turkish citizens. That is why we support the Turkish authorities in helping both groups of the population,” said Leclerc.

UNHCR spokesman Saltmarsh: “Earthquake hit displaced people inside Syria”

UNHCR spokesman Matthew Saltmarsh also noted that the earthquake was a heavy blow to the displaced population of Syria, and recalled that both refugees and those who were forced to leave their places in Syria are already in the grip of an economic crisis.

“There is a great need for humanitarian support and assistance in the northwestern and northeastern parts of Syria,” Saltmarsh said, adding: “In the northwest, 4.1 million people, most of them children and women, need help. .”

Saltmarsh noted that UNHCR has mobilized teams and resources in earthquake-affected areas such as Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Idlib, and that supplies such as winter clothing, shelter, tents and kitchen utensils will be sent to these regions.

UN spokesman Dujarric: “$25 million allocated”

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric also said in a statement that $25 million had been made available to start humanitarian aid.

Dujarric said the funds to be provided by the UN Central Emergency Fund will help save lives in the region.

Noting that UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination Teams will support Turkish teams in Adana today and tomorrow in Gaziantep, Dujarric said that according to the UN Refugee Agency, people affected by the protracted crisis in Syria are living in makeshift tents. shelters and partially damaged buildings. .

Saying that work in Turkey is focused on search and rescue and UNICEF is coordinating with AFAD, Dujarric said hygiene kits, blankets and winter clothing will be brought to the region.

Noting that 57,000 Palestinian refugees were also affected by the earthquake in Aleppo and Latakia in northern Syria, Dujarric said that medical assistance had been provided in these regions.

UNICEF’s work in Syria aims to ensure that families and children have access to clean drinking water and sanitation in the early days of the crisis to contain the spread of epidemics, Dujarric said.

UNICEF is also focusing on identifying children separated from their families rather than their parents, reuniting these children with their families, and providing psychological first aid to children.

Dujarric also noted that education in areas affected by the earthquake will be disrupted, and most schools have been allocated to shelter children and families who have lost their homes in the earthquake.

Noting that there are few medical supplies in Damascus, Dujarric said that UNICEF is trying to procure medical supplies from its nearby warehouses in Lebanon and Jordan.

Stating that there is a need for food and nutrition services in Syria, Dujarric said that UNICEF is trying to mobilize food supplies in the region and deliver them to areas in need through mobile teams.

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