Only 7 percent of the $1 billion flash appeal launched by the UN to support millions of Turkish people affected by devastating earthquakes on February 6 was funded as of Friday, Alvaro Rodriguez, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Turkey, said.
Posting a blog on the UN News website, Rodriguez called on the international community to provide the lifesaving funds for victims of the disaster in Turkey.
“Türkiye is also home to the largest number of refugees in the world and has shown enormous generosity to its Syrian neighbors for years. Now is the time for the world to support the people of Türkiye – just as they have stood in solidarity with others seeking assistance,” he said.
According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the funds would provide humanitarian relief for three months to 5.2 million people in Turkey. 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.
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 also said they “lost five members of our UN family” in Turkey in the earthquakes.
The EU will host a donors conference in Brussels on March 16 to mobilize funds in support of people in Turkey and Syria.
At least 1.5 million people have been left homeless and 500,000 new homes need to be built after the earthquakes and dozens of aftershocks in southern Turkey, according to UN Development Programme (UNDP) experts.
The UN resident coordinator, sometimes called the RC, is the highest-ranking representative of the UN development system at the country level.