Only 10 percent of UN’s $1 billion flash appeal funded: report

Survivors gather next to a bonfire outside collapsed buildings in Kahramanmaras on February 8, 2023, after their homes were destroyed in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the border region of Turkey and Syria on February 6. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP)

Only 10 percent of the $1 billion flash appeal launched by the United Nations to support millions of Turkish people affected by devastating earthquakes in early February was funded in a month, Alvaro Rodriguez, the UN resident coordinator in Turkey, told The Associated Press (AP).

Speaking to the AP, Rodriguez said, “The reality is that if we do not move beyond the roughly 10% that we have, the U.N. and its partners will not be able to meet the humanitarian needs.”

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep – home to around 2 million people and on the border with Syria – as people were sleeping on February 6 was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue efforts the same day.

Rodriguez had earlier called on the international community to provide the lifesaving funds for victims of the disaster in Turkey.

“Turkey has been a country that has supported 4 million Syrian refugees over the last few years, and this is an opportunity for the international community to provide the support that Turkey deserves,” he said.

According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the devastating earthquakes have displaced an estimated 2.7 million people in Turkey.

The UN launched a $1 billion funding appeal to support millions of people in Turkey.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier said in a statement that the funds would provide humanitarian relief for three months to 5.2 million people. The money would “allow aid organizations to rapidly scale up vital support,” including in the areas of food security, protection, education, water and shelter, he added.

The UN resident coordinator, sometimes called the RC, is the highest-ranking representative of the UN development system at the country level.

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