UN appeals for $1 billion to aid survivors in Turkey
The United Nations has launched a $1 billion appeal on Thursday to assist around five million of Turkey’s devastating earthquake survivors.
Questioned about why the appeal for Turkey is targeted at only 5.2 million people, despite more than 15 million were affected by the tremors, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the campaign was designed in close cooperation with Turkish government.
“This is the number they came up with for the focus on people who need the most humanitarian aid, most quickly, and where the UN can be most effective,” he said, Associated Press reported on Friday.
Earlier this week, the UN also started a $397 million appeal to help around five million Syrians across the border in the rebel-held north-west, AP said.
Dujarric also was asked why the appeal for Turkey is two and a half times larger than the one for Syria to help almost the same number of people.
Part of the reason was that “there is already a well-established humanitarian community which has been working in Syria” and that before the tremor there was a $4.8 billion humanitarian appeal for the war-torn country for 2023, Dujarric said.
“So there’s already a humanitarian pot of money that exists for Syria, which did not exist for Turkey,” Dujarric added.
Both appeals are for emergency funds for the next three months, and will be followed by fresh appeals for longer-term help, AP said.
While announcing the appeal for Turkey, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged international community to step up and fully fund this “critical effort in response to one of the biggest natural disasters of our times”.
This will allow aid groups to rapidly scale up support for government-led relief efforts, including providing food, protection, education, water and shelter to survivors, the UN chief said.
“The needs are enormous, people are suffering and there’s no time to lose,” he said.