Earthquake in Turkey and Syria Earthquake in Turkey and Syria  (AFP or licensors)

Humanitarian phase of earthquake relief in full swing

Relief efforts across Turkey and Syria are continuing, while it is estimated that about 26 million people have been impacted by the disaster.

By Nathan Morley

The current bitterly cold weather in Syria and Turkey continues to provide a serious obstacle to relief efforts.

More than one million people were left homeless in Turkey alone, and the UNHCR representative in Syria estimates over five million people need shelter assistance in Syria. This number comes to a population already suffering mass displacement.

With some underground water sources polluted and the sewage system in ruins, tap water is unsafe for consumption leading to an increased risk of an epidemic. Meanwhile, across the region the aid response has been immense.

Even small countries such as Algeria and Libya have sent planes full of relief items. On top of that, foreign heads of state and ministers have paid visits to Turkey and Syria to show solidarity. 

According to the World Health Organization, about 26 million people have been impacted by the disaster.

Separately, new aid from Pope Francis arrived in Turkey on Saturday, including canned food, diapers and many other materials which can withstand the weather.

Volunteers and airport staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the cargo arrived in Istanbul on time. 

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18 February 2023, 14:56