Geneva: UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths is set to travel to Turkey and Syria where more than 21,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck the countries earlier this week.
Over the weekend, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator will visit Gaziantep, in southern Turkey, and Aleppo in northwestern Syria — two of the worst-hit regions, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The Under-Secretary-General will show solidarity with the people of both countries, thank the UN teams on the ground and garner more support for the ongoing relief effort, as humanitarian needs continue to grow,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report.
The first UN convoy since the earthquake crossed from Turkey into northwest Syria through Bab al Hawa on Thursday, OCHA said.
The convoy included six trucks carrying shelter items and non-food kits from the International Organization for Migration.
OCHA said that so far at least 108 search and rescue teams, both from the UN and other international organisations, have been deployed in Turkey, with a total of 6,479 personnel and 212 search dogs.
Another 60 international teams are on their way.