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More than 7m children affected by Turkiye-Syria earthquakes: UN 

February 15, 2023 at 8:19 am

Children eat food as earthquake survivors live in tent after amusement park turns into a shelter for earthquake victims in Idlib, Syria on February 13, 2023 [Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency]

More than seven million children have been affected by the devastating earthquakes that hit uürkiye and Syria last week, the United Nations said yesterday, expressing fears that thousands may have died.

“In Turkiye, the total number of children living in the 10 provinces hit by the earthquakes was 4.6 million. In Syria, 2.5 million children are affected,” UNICEF spokesman James Elder told reporters in Geneva.

Elder was speaking as rescue teams began to wrap up their search for survivors in the wake of the catastrophic earthquakes that left more than 35,000 people dead in the two countries.

“UNICEF fears many thousands of children have been killed. Even without verified numbers, it is tragically clear that numbers will continue to grow,” Elder said.

He expressed concerns that given the “catastrophic, and ever-increasing, death toll, it is clear that many, many children will have lost parents in these devastating earthquakes.

WATCH: Jindires, NW Syria,’We can’t even find tents to shelter us’

Hundreds of thousands of displaced people face cold and hunger in the ruins.

“Families with children are sleeping in the streets, malls, schools, mosques, bus stations and under bridges, staying with their children in open areas for fear of going home, and not being able to assess the structural damage and potential impact of likely aftershocks,” the UNICEF spokesman noted.

“This means tens of thousands of families are exposed to the elements at a time of year when temperatures are bitingly cold, and snow and freezing rain are common. Reports rise daily of the number of children suffering from hypothermia and respiratory infections.”

Syria’s refugee camps hit by massive earthquake - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Syria’s refugee camps hit by massive earthquake – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]