Sun 12-03-2023 09:42 AM
ANKARA,12th March, 2023 (WAM) – The international community must strengthen its efforts to ensure aid keeps reaching the millions of people who have been affected by the devastating earthquakes that hit Türkiye and Syria last month, according to the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) while in the affected areas.
“In the ruins of historic Antakya city today, I met proud and brave people whose past has been eradicated, whose present is full of suffering and whose future is uncertain,” said António Vitorino, after his two-day visit to the Türkiye, which included meetings with Vice President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.“I am in awe of IOM colleagues and our many partners who began responding within hours of the earthquake, despite being affected themselves. But now comes the long haul; standing in solidarity and action with Türkiye as it rebuilds and creates a new future for the millions whose lives have been torn apart,” added Mr Vitorino.
While in Ankara the IOM Director General also held a briefing with Ambassadors representing the international community where the latest information on the earthquakes’ impacts were detailed, along with IOM’s response and capacity to reach even more people in need, should appropriate funding be secured.
IOM’s appeal for USD 161 million to support response efforts in Türkiye and northwest Syria is currently less than 30 percent funded. As urgent funds are needed, IOM will continue to advocate and call the international community to back its vital response which has already including the dispatching of more than 1 million emergency aid items in Türkiye in just over one month.
Tariq Al Fahaam