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WHO requests $43 million to boost the earthquake response in Syria and Turkey

WHO requests $43 million to boost the earthquake response in Syria and Turkey

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According to Türkiye, WHO regional director for Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a $43 million appeal to fund the earthquake response in Syria on Tuesday.

In a press conference regarding immediate health requirements and response in Türkiye following last week’s earthquakes, Hans Kluge stated, “I expect this will at least double over the coming days, as we gain a better assessment of the tremendous scope of this crisis and the demands.”

To “guarantee access to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people, provide trauma care and post-trauma rehabilitation, and supply necessary medicines and emergency kits to fill urgent healthcare gaps,” according to Kluge, the funds will be used.

Additionally, he said, it will be used to “provide essential emotional and psychosocial assistance to the impacted communities and maintain continuity of regular health services, particularly for women, children, the elderly, and those with non-communicable diseases.”

According to Kluge, WHO has sent the most emergency medical teams in the WHO European Region in its seventy-five-year history. Twelve emergency medical teams have already arrived in Turkey, and a further ten are on their way.

The international community needs to be as generous as Turkey has been in the past, according to Kluge, who added that the country has been housing the biggest number of refugees in the world—4.2 million—for many years.

“The WHO European Region is currently experiencing its biggest natural disaster in a century. Regarding its scope, we are still learning. The exact cost is yet unknown, he said.

“Recovery and healing will require patience and a tremendous amount of work. But I can guarantee you that for however long it takes, WHO will stand firm beside the people of Turkey and Syria.

Additionally, Fahrettin Koca of the Turkish Health Ministry was recognized by Kluge for “his leadership and constant coordination with the international community.”

The WHO representative in Turkey, Batyr Berdyklychev, stated that “serious damage to the water and sanitation infrastructure is a concern, and it increases the danger of waterborne infections and epidemics of communicable diseases.”

The WHO Türkiye office is collaborating with several Turkish ministries, including the ministry of health, as part of the UN country team mechanism because the disaster “requires a comprehensive response, including water provision, protection, sanitation, food, and shelter,” according to Berdyklychev.

According to Berdyklychev, refugees living in crowded communities are also more at risk of contracting diseases like COVID and seasonal influenza, with the WHO country office working closely with Turkish authorities.

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