Nearly 4 million children in areas of southern Turkiye struck by last week’s major earthquakes are facing disruption to their schooling, said UNICEF on Thursday.
“Access to education is hampered for nearly four million children in the earthquake affected areas,” said UNICEF Turkiye on its official Twitter account, Reuters reports.
UNICEF added that the organisation was working with the government to resume education for the out of school children by setting up learning spaces and to offer supplies and training which are needed.
On 6 February, two earthquakes of magnitudes 7.7 and 7.6 jolted southern Turkiye, affecting 11 provinces and resulting in the deaths of over 36,000 people.
The organisation said that it was ensuring that children return to learning as soon as possible, and that it was assessing damage to schools, making preparations for immediate repairs and the establishment of temporary learning spaces. In affected parts of Turkiye, schools have been suspended until 1 March.
UNICEF says that the earthquakes have been “catastrophic” for families and children, leaving hundreds of thousands in desperate conditions. Many families have lost their homes and are now living in temporary shelters amid the cold weather. It observed that there has been widespread damage to schools.
“The children and families of Turkiye and Syria are facing unimaginable hardship in the aftermath of these devastating earthquakes,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure that everyone who survived this catastrophe receives life-saving support, including safe water, sanitation, critical nutrition and health supplies, and support for children’s mental health. Not only now, but over the long term,” Russell added.