After the devastating earthquake, millions of people have to be cared for - a difficult and expensive undertaking, especially in Syria. The UN is demanding around 400 million euros to provide urgently needed aid.
The UN has demanded 397 million US dollars from the international community for the earthquake victims in Syria. Five million people are urgently dependent on this sum for their survival in the next three months, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York. The UN is currently preparing a similar appeal for donations for Turkey.
Guterres called for aid organizations to be able to move freely in Syria. "The suffering of the people from this epic natural disaster should not be compounded by man-made hurdles."
In contrast to Turkey, in Syria, which was plagued by years of civil war, hardly any aid arrived for the victims of the earthquake. Syria's ruler Bashar al-Assad only opened a second border crossing from Turkey to rebel areas on Tuesday to allow aid supplies to the region.
A good week after the earthquake disaster in the Turkish-Syrian border area, the number of dead rose to more than 40,000. In Turkey alone, the number is 35,418, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the state news agency Anadolu. 5,900 deaths were recently reported from Syria.
An alliance of 35 international and Syrian NGOs also called for a massive increase in aid for Syria "which must correspond to the scale of the disaster". According to the alliance, rescue teams in northwestern Syria were only able to search five percent of the affected areas for survivors due to access restrictions and a lack of equipment. Now millions are homeless and the camps are full of people "without food, without water, without blankets, without heating".
In an interview with the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung", Matthias Mogge, Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe, which claims to have been working in Syria for more than ten years, also called for political questions to be put on hold and humanitarian aid "massively" expanded. "The efforts so far are far from sufficient," he said.