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“New Phase” Dawns in Earthquake Recovery Says IOM Director General on Visit to Türkiye
Ankara – The response to the devastating earthquakes that hit Türkiye and Syria a month ago has moved into a new phase, says the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as he begins a two-day visit to Türkiye.
António Vitorino is visiting the country to deepen cooperation with the Turkish Government on emergency response and long-term recovery efforts, including supporting the millions of people affected by the earthquake and ensuring they were able to rebuild their lives.
“The consequences of this tragedy are almost unimaginable,” said Mr Vitorino, in advance of his visit to the area bordering Northwest Syria and Hatay, one of the many cities flattened by the earthquakes and aftershocks that began on 06 February.
“Almost every service that we take for granted – health care, transport, food supply, water, sanitation and education – has been affected or simply ceased to exist. People need to regain their sense of community, and that only comes when the day-to-day infrastructure returns to normal.”
Acknowledging that this effort would place enormous strain on Türkiye, Mr Vitorino added, “All of us in UN agencies on the ground have pledged to do the maximum to help the government help its people.”
“Hundreds of thousands of these have been displaced for a second time, already having fled the war in Syria over the past 12 years. Türkiye has shown incredible generosity to them, and it is our solemn duty to do all we can to ensure humanitarian assistance and protection can continue.”
In early February, IOM launched an appeal for USD 161 million to address the immediate needs of affected populations in Türkiye and Northwest Syria. So far, contributions to the appeal have reached less than 30 per cent of the target.
Mr Vitorino reaffirms that IOM will continue to call on the international community for solidarity and joint efforts to help Türkiye rebuild cities and communities.
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