Humanitarian quake aid in Syria continues to scale up UN

Damascus, March 17 : Despite operating challenges, relief workers in Syria have scaled up aid delivery to victims of the devastating February 6 earthquakes, UN humanitarians said. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that since the massive temblor it has reached more than 1.2 million people with food together with aid partners, reports Xinhua news agency. More than 340,000 people were reached with water, sanitation and hygiene services, OCHA said, adding that health partners have supported 2.6 million medical procedures. UN humanitarians said that the $398 million emergency Syria earthquake appeal to aid 4.9 million people of the 8.8 million affected is 72 per cent funded. "However, the number of people in need in Syria was at its highest even before the earthquakes struck, with more than 15 million people in need of humanitarian aid and more than 90 per cent of the people living in poverty," the humanitarian office said. After 12 years of conflict and crises in Syria, essential services, including housing, health, education, water, and energy, continue to be impacted, OCHA said. Additionally, the earthquake hit Syria amid an active cholera epidemic and a water scarcity crisis, it added. The earthquakes which had its epicentres in Turkey has killed than 55,700 people in the two nations. Of the total victims, more than 48,400 were reported in Turkey, and over 7,200 in Syria. /IANS


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