Nearly 26 million people affected by Turkey-Syria earthquake

Nearly 26 million people may have been affected by the earthquakes that rocked Turkey and Syria this week, where dozens of health facilities were damaged, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today, appealing for funding

Today, that number rises to 26 million, 15 million in Turkey and almost 11 million in Syria.Among them, more than five million people are considered particularly “vulnerable”, including nearly 350,000 elderly people and more than 1.4 million children.

In Turkey, the WHO estimates that more than 4,000 buildings collapsed during the earthquakes and that 15 hospitals were partially or heavily damaged.

In Syria, where the health system has already been brought to its knees by 12 years of war, at least 20 health facilities in the northwestern part of the country, including four hospitals, were damaged.

The WHO said it sent 37 tons of medical supplies for wound care and emergency surgery to Turkey on Thursday, while 35 tons arrived in Syria on Friday.

“They will be used to treat and care for 100,000 people as well as to carry out 120,000 emergency surgeries in the two countries,” the WHO said, adding that a third flight with a similar cargo was expected to arrive in Syria on Monday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrived today in Aleppo, Syria, which was hit hard by the earthquake.