Türkiye, Syria quake to affect 23 million people

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that up to 23 million individuals could be impacted by the massive earthquake that has struck Turkey and Syria, leaving thousands dead. The organization has expressed its commitment to long-term assistance, as it recognizes the vulnerability of the affected populations.

According to Adelheid Marschang, the senior emergencies officer of the WHO, “potentially 23 million people are exposed, including around five million vulnerable populations.” The earthquake has caused significant damage to infrastructure, particularly in Turkey and northwest Syria. The WHO sees the immediate and mid-term unmet needs to be in Syria, where the majority of the population is exposed to the aftermath of the disaster.

As rescue operations continue, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the situation is a race against time, and the organization is mobilizing its resources to provide essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable. Emergency supplies and the WHO network of emergency medical teams are being sent to the area to assist in relief efforts.

The earthquake has compounded the already existing challenges in the Turkey-Syria border region, where the population has been affected by conflict, insurgency, and refugee crises, as well as a recent cholera outbreak. The earthquake has resulted in the collapse of several thousand buildings, causing immense suffering to the residents of the affected cities.

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