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One Year After Earthquakes IOM Aid Reaches 4.7 Million in Türkiye, Northwest Syria
Ankara, 5 February – One year since devastating earthquakes struck Türkiye and Northwest Syria, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has supported 4.7 million people in both countries.
“The earthquakes were among the biggest tragedies we have ever witnessed, triggering widespread damage and loss of life. Today, we remember those who perished, including three of our own,” remarked Ugochi Daniels, IOM Deputy Director General for Operations.
“Despite the challenges, IOM was among the first to get aid to those affected, thanks to its decade-long humanitarian presence in southeast Türkiye and its cross-border programme in Northwest Syria.”
The earthquakes, which first struck in the early hours of 6 February 2023, added 108,000 to the figure of internally displaced in Northwest Syria, bringing the total to close to 2.9 million. In Türkiye, approximately three million people were forced to flee their homes.
IOM supported over 560,000 internally displaced Syrians with shelter, 116,500 with health services, 22,400 with mental health services and counselling, and 369,000 with clean water and sanitation.
“After the earthquakes I could only find work for a few days each month. I could not provide for my family,” said Ahmed, one of 96,500 who benefitted from IOM's cash-for-food programme. “Through the vouchers, I was finally able to buy food, and cleaning supplies.”
However, ongoing hostilities continue to hamper recovery efforts. IOM is appealing for USD 89 million for its Crisis Response Plan 2024 for the Syrian Arab Republic, which will allow 2.1 million individuals to receive further lifesaving support.
A significant funding shortfall this year would place vulnerable people – already impacted by longstanding conflict and socioeconomic difficulty – at greater risk. The Syria Humanitarian Response Plan 2023 was only 37 per cent funded.
Meanwhile, over the past year in Türkiye, IOM dispatched relief items to 800,000 people, supported 282,000 with shelter, 26,800 with primary health care, 17,600 with mental health services and counselling, and 500,000 with clean water and sanitation.
“This work was made possible thanks to the outpouring of support from the international community and our strong partnership with the Government of Türkiye,” said Daniels.
“We count on continued solidarity to enable IOM to deliver on its threefold recovery strategy: foster conditions for people to return home, harness the power of mobility to address labour gaps and boost key industries, and increase preparedness for future disasters.”
To help the country recover from the earthquakes, IOM is now rolling out a four-year programme aimed at helping migrants and locals get formal work. Ongoing funding would allow the Organization to help further those in need, especially those who remain in temporary settlements.
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