Statement on the Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria
By Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone who lost loved ones in Türkiye and Syria due to the devastating earthquakes today, and I extend my sympathies to the survivors and the affected across the region.
Of all natural hazards, earthquakes cause the deadliest disasters, accounting for 58% of total disaster deaths between 2000-2019. The effect of an earthquake is further amplified when it impacts particularly vulnerable areas, where resilient infrastructure might be lacking and humanitarian needs are high.
Türkiye continues to host the largest number of refugees worldwide and just yesterday the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that humanitarian needs in Syria have hit a 12-year high.
Assistance must reach all those who were affected, including in north-west Syria, where 4.1 million people depend on humanitarian assistance and are already facing a harsh winter.
This is a time for international solidarity to marshal immediate assistance to those affected. I thank the governments that have already pledged support and call on others to support in any way they can. This support should extend to helping communities build back better once the response phase is over.