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Syria: opposition says UN handling of earthquake response was politicised

February 13, 2023 at 12:12 pm

Burial of quake victims continue in Jindires town in northern Syria’s Afrin District of the Aleppo following a 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquake [Bekir Kasım – Anadolu Agency]

The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has said that the UN handling of the earthquake disaster in Syria “was politicised” and called on the international community to take “effective action” to provide relief to those affected by the disaster.

“The UN response did not take into account the needs of each area,” said the coalition. “Support was directed to the Assad regime and the rubble was left to suffocate civilians in the liberated areas, despite the severe damage suffered.”

The coalition called on the international community to take effective action outside the UN and the Security Council to provide relief to the Syrians.

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“The area needs specialist teams and urgent shelter for the tens of thousands of displaced families. We call on the UN Secretary-General and the Special Envoy to Syria to move quickly and effectively, and open more humanitarian crossings to the liberated areas.”

An investigation, it said, should be held into the reasons for the “negative response” to the disaster in the opposition-held areas. “The region needs an international response plan that is effective and has direct impact.”

At least 3,574 people died in the earthquake disaster in Syria, more than half of them in opposition-held areas.

At dawn on 6 February, an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude struck southern Turkey and northern Syria, followed by another quake hours later with a magnitude of 7.6 and hundreds of violent aftershocks. This caused great loss of life and destruction of property in both countries.

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