Over 2,000 people have been killed, and thousands more are injured after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria today.
The death and injury toll is expected to rise as hundreds of families are still trapped under rubble. This has resulted in widespread destruction, with thousands of buildings collapsing in over 20 cities and towns.
Commenting on the earthquake, Racha Nasreddine, Regional Director of ActionAid Arab Region, said:
“It’s tragic to see the numbers of casualties rising as efforts continue to try to recover and safe people from the wreckage.
“The situation is particularly devastating as it affects Syrian refugees who have already fled their homes due to conflict and settled in Turkey, as well as displaced people inside Syria. Many of these people have been displaced multiple times and now this earthquake has destroyed their lives and livelihoods yet again.
“The harsh winter conditions and heavy storm battering the region are making the recovery mission all the more challenging. People affected by the crisis will be suffering in extreme conditions without anywhere to go, with many out on the streets overnight tonight.
“ActionAid is working with its partner in the region to urgently assess needs and what support is required. In the first instance we will be working to provide shelter, food and warm clothes. We know women, girls and marginalised communities are always disproportionately impacted by disasters and we will be working to support these vulnerable groups in the aftermath of this earthquake.”
Racha Nasreddine, Regional Director of ActionAid Arab Region and based in Lebanon, is available for an interview.
ActionAid is a global federation that works with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries. We want to see a just and sustainable world in which everyone enjoys the right to a dignified life and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work for social justice and gender equality, and poverty eradication.