03 March 2023
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator: UN will continue to support quake-hit Türkiye
The United Nations (UN) will continue to support Türkiye following the February 6 twin earthquakes, said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Türkiye. During his visit to Hatay which is one of the 11 provinces got hit by the earthquakes Alvaro Rodriguez said the UN activities in the province include search and rescue efforts, humanitarian response such as providing food and medicine as well as recovery and reconstruction. “We already know that we have eight and in fact there will be a ninth hospital that will be coming here” he added. Reminding that Türkiye is a founding member of the United Nations, Rodriguez stated “We've been here since that time and we will continue to be here as long as we have support to the Turkish Government and people”. In Hatay which was hit by two more powerful earthquakes two weeks after the disaster the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Rodriguez visited the tent city established in a stadium, a field hospital and met with communities impacted by the earthquakes. He also met with Government officials and emergency responders. Noting that 40 per cent of the citizens who lost their lives in the earthquakes were in Hatay, Rodriguez said that 25 per cent of the province's population had to migrate. “Now we hope that the second phase is humanitarian phase (that) will last roughly three months” Rodriguez stated. “Then we start another phase which is the recovery and reconstruction. And there are other agencies of the UN will be involved the agencies that actually focus on livelihoods, focus on reconstruction, focus on environment, for example, so that we can restore the economy of the 11 provinces affected” added the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Türkiye. The UN with its partners have been providing aid - including shelter, food and hot meals, medical assistance, water and sanitation services and psycho-social support. UN has nine Emergency Medical Teams in Hatay and another one will be established soon. Each team treats 150 to 200 people a day, including performing surgeries. More than 60 Urban Search and Rescue teams, many coordinated by the UN, have come to Hatay and rescued more than 100 people from under the rubble. More than 45,000 people were killed in the earthquakes in Türkiye and some 13.5 million people have been affected, with thousands of buildings collapsing in its wake.