Red Cross calls for urgent help to meet needs of earthquake victims in Türkiye, Syria

Red Cross calls for urgent help to meet needs of earthquake victims in Türkiye, Syria

‘Although recovery efforts are well underway, earthquakes have had an immeasurable impact,’ says humanitarian organization

By Anadolu staff

ISTANBUL (AA) - The Red Cross on Thursday called for urgent support to meet the needs of the victims affected by the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes, epicentered in Türkiye’s southern Kahramanmaras province.

In a statement, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said: “Six months after the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the IFRC calls for urgent support to affected communities still reeling from the monumental impacts of the disaster.”

“Although recovery efforts are well underway, the earthquakes have had an immeasurable impact, leading to the loss of thousands of lives and affecting millions more,” it said.

The statement also included remarks from Ruben Cano, IFRC head of delegation in Türkiye, who said that earthquake victims are “stuck in a very difficult situation.”

“Many people in Türkiye – particularly those who lost their homes and income – are still struggling with their day-to-day needs, including paying for food, rent and other necessities. A ‘normal’ life is still far from reach,” Cano said.

The statement also emphasized that many earthquake victims are “falling deeper into debt to help cover their needs while they recover and build back income sources.”

“More than 50 percent of families supported by the IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent are taking on new debts after the earthquakes as the country battles inflation and a drastic increase in prices,” the IFRC said.

“In Syria, the reality for many people is even more dire – the earthquake's impact, coupled with 12 years of conflict, has rendered recovery exceedingly challenging. The economic situation continues to push already vulnerable communities deeper into hardship and uncertainty,” it added.

The organization also said that the Turkish Red Crescent and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been “at the very heart” of the response to the tragedy.

“The IFRC launched two Emergency Appeals, one for Türkiye and one for Syria, totaling CHF 500 million ($571 million). There is still a funding gap of 74% in Türkiye and 56% in Syria,” it said.

“Further support and funding are urgently needed to make a significant impact on the lives of those affected and empower individuals to rebuild their lives and contribute to their local economies in both Syria and Türkiye in the long term,” the organization added.

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