The United States urges worldwide assistance for earthquake-stricken Turkey in Syria
The United States called on countries around the world to “do everything they can” to support the people of Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the 7.7-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that left more than 35,000 dead.
“We’re doing that in this country,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Monday. “This is an effort that goes beyond the federal government.”
“This is an effort in which once again we have seen the generosity of the American people rise to the occasion,” he said, adding that the National Football League (NFL) encouraged American football fans on Sunday to contribute to continuing earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria.
“Considering the destruction and loss of life, this earthquake affected not only Turkey and Syria but the entire world,” he said.
“The United States continues to support search and rescue, recovery and relief efforts and mobilize additional equipment and resources to assist recovery efforts and humanitarian response in both Turkey and Syria,” he said, stressing the White House’s commitment to providing all necessary assistance. to the affected countries.
USAID search and rescue teams arrived at Incirlik Air Force Base last Wednesday to assist with earthquake efforts in Turkey following the disaster, consisting of 159 people, 12 rescue dogs, 77,110 kilograms (170,000 pounds) of specialized equipment and an addendum. To the previously deployed 79-person teams and individuals already on the ground.
On humanitarian aid to Syria, Price stressed that the international community has a “moral obligation” to do everything in its power to deliver aid to the earthquake-hit areas.
“This includes meeting urgently at the United Nations Security Council to allow additional transit points from Turkey,” he said.
“This is not a political issue, but a humanitarian issue,” Price stressed. “As we saw last week, having only one crossing means there is one point of failure,” he added, noting that more aid crossings would save more lives.
“To our friend and ally Turkey: We will be with you every step of the way. To the people of Syria: We are sending you the exact same message,” Price added.
For years, the United Nations has sent humanitarian aid to Syria through only one border crossing, Silvigozu, in Turkey’s southern Hatay province, but it was damaged in the massive earthquakes last Monday.
At least 31,643 people have been killed in Turkey and more than 80,000 injured after earthquakes measuring 7.7 and 7.6 struck southern Turkey in less than 10 hours on February 6, affecting some 13 million people, according to the latest official figures.
The earthquakes, which were concentrated in Kahramanmaraş, also struck nine other provinces, namely Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye and Şanlıurfa.
Strong tremors were also felt by several countries in the region, such as Lebanon and the island of Cyprus, with neighboring Syria receiving the greatest damage after Turkey.
The death toll in the already war-torn country has risen to more than 3,500, with more than 5,200 people injured. Authorities expect casualties to increase as hope of finding more survivors in the rubble fades on the ninth day.