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Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
February 6, 2023

I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastating humanitarian toll caused by the earthquakes impacting Türkiye and Syria. As humanitarian agencies work to respond, the United States stands ready to provide assistance to those affected by the disaster.

I have twice visited the Türkiye-Syria border to meet with humanitarian agencies and NGOs working to get desperately needed aid to those in northern Syria displaced by more than a decade of war. The situation was already fragile, with Türkiye generously hosting over 3.5 million Syrian refugees. Medical facilities in Syria have long been strained beyond capacity. These earthquakes compound the crises faced by vulnerable Syrians, as well as the challenges faced by UN agencies and NGOs providing assistance. My thoughts are also with the families of those across Türkiye who have lost loved ones as a result of this horrific tragedy.

With the death toll already in the thousands, time is of the essence to get assistance to Türkiye and Syria. President Biden has authorized an immediate U.S. response, and I echo the UN Secretary-General’s call to the international community to urgently increase critical funding and assistance to help those affected.