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WHO chief urges more funds for earthquake-stricken Syria

Ghebreyesus said more funds and access were still required for Syria to recover

WHO chief urges more funds for earthquake-stricken Syria
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged the international community to help earthquake-hit northwest Syria as funding is still not enough, adding he was “disturbed and heartbroken.” 

Ghebreyesus addressed the media on Wednesday after touring a hospital nearby where more than 4,000 victims of last month’s deadly earthquake are still undergoing treatment.

“The people of northwest Syria need the assistance of the international community to recover and rebuild,” Tedros said.

“I call on the international community, governments, philanthropists, individuals, to dig deep,” added Tedros.

To help individuals impacted by the earthquake in Syria alone, it was estimated that it would need close to $400 million over three months.

Hospitals are in dire conditions, having been hit by air strikes over the years and facing chronic equipment shortages.

The UN said Syria’s needs are now at their highest since the start of the conflict nearly 12 years ago.

After the earthquake, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad permitted the opening two more border crossings with Turkey, bringing the total to three, to allow aid into the area held by his armed opponents.

Nonetheless, more funds and access were still required, according to Ghebreyesus.

According to media reports, he said, “I don’t think the existing, the three, will be enough. Any available access should be used.”

Four million people live in the opposition-controlled region in the northwest, and many of them were displaced due to fighting elsewhere in their country.

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