According to a United Nations expert, the deadly earthquake that struck Syria this week may have displaced up to 5.3 million people.
“As many as 5.3 million people in Syria may have been left homeless by the earthquake,” said Sivanka Dhanapala, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees‘ envoy in Syria.
According to him, the UN estimates that 5.37 million individuals affected by the earthquake will require shelter assistance throughout the country.
“That is a huge number and comes to a population already suffering mass displacement,” he said, adding that – “For Syria, this is a crisis within a crisis.” “We’ve had economic shocks, COVID, and are now in the depths of winter.”
On February 6, two strong earthquakes rocked south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria, killing hundreds and destroying houses and infrastructure across the region.
Families evacuated from their homes by the country’s long-running crises are among those affected within Syria, where they are living in tents, makeshift shelters, and partially ruined structures. Many thousands of Syrian refugees and the towns that have generously sheltered them for nearly 12 years are among those caught up in the quake in Turkey.
With strong winter storms presently sweeping through the region, adding to survivors’ vulnerability, families urgently require life-saving shelter and help. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is already on the ground in Syria, distributing emergency goods such as tents, thermal blankets, winter clothing, beds, etc
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