Ankara/Damascus, 10 February 2023 (TDI): The agencies of the United Nations (UN) are providing emergency relief to the people of Turkiye and Syria as the number of causalities is on the rise as people are still trapped under the rubble.

Team in Turkiye

More than 40 Urban Search and Rescue teams from Türkiye and 19 other countries are deployed, with some 2,800 urban search and rescue specialists and 160 search dogs. These teams are helping in mobilizing emergency teams and relief operations.

The majority of these teams are UN International Search and Rescue Advisory Group classified teams and are coordinated by the Turkish Disaster Management Agency (AFAD).

The efforts are also coordinated by a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team of 45 staff located in hubs throughout affected areas of Gaziantep, Hatay, Adimayan, and Kahramanmaras.

Team in Syria

Community-based rescue teams are fully engaged in the ongoing search for people trapped under the debris of collapsed houses, in northwest Syria.

The efforts are complicated because of the lack of heavy machines to remove rubble, as well as poor weather conditions.

In other parts of Syria, humanitarian actors report there’s an urgent need for assistance, logistics, skilled rescue teams, and temporary shelters.

The Bab al Hawa crossing is accessible. Today, some 90 percent of the 4.6 million people living in northwest Syria rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic needs.

The UN cross-border response, authorized by the Security Council, has served as their humanitarian lifeline. Last year, trucks loaded with aid crossing from Türkiye to north-west Syria reached on average 2.6 million Syrians each month through this operation.

Tremors of 7.8 magnitude earthquake were observed in Turkiya and Syria due to which thousands of people died. The displaced population is living in makeshift camps, facing an extremely harsh winter.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.”