The death toll from the nation’s terrible earthquake last week is likely to increase further as crews race to clear the rubble in hard-hit areas, according to the United Nations regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syrian crisis, who announced on Thursday.
Muhannad Hadi defended the U.N.’s response to the disaster, which many in Syria have criticized as delayed and insufficient, in an interview with The Associated Press.
The U.N. has stated that 6,200 people had died in Syria, including 4,400 in the rebel-held northwest.
That number is greater than the 1,414 and 2,274 dead claimed by civil defense officials in the northwest and government officials in Damascus, respectively.
We’re hoping that there won’t be a significant increase in this number, Hadi stated. Yet, based on what we can now see, there is little reason to believe that this earthquake will be the last.
In northwest Syria, Hadi stated that there were already 4.1 million people in need of aid; many had already been relocated and are now homeless or have been uprooted.
Locals dealing with the quake’s aftermath have criticized the United Nations for taking too long to respond.
They are helping the neighborhood. Roads leading to the sole Turkish-Syrian border crossing that the U.N. is approved for usage.
However, the earthquake caused damage. The initial relief convoy to enter northwest Syria arrived three days after the quake.
The U.N. and the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, agreed on Monday to open two more crossings, but detractors claim the U.N.
Given the critical situation, more crossings should have been used without waiting for permission, or another method of bringing in aid should have been discovered.
The sluggish delivery of help has been condemned by Syrian rescuers and individuals who lost homes and family members in the earthquake, who claim they feel abandoned by the international community.
Hadi added, “I can promise you that we have done everything from the beginning. “We urged everyone to prioritize the needs of the populace. We pleaded with everyone to keep politics out of the humanitarian crisis and concentrate on helping us help the victims.
As of Thursday, 120 supply trucks, according to Hadi, have entered northwest Syria from Turkey.
No relief convoys have yet crossed into the rebel-held territories from the area under Damascus authority.
The al-Qaida-affiliated rebel group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which governs a large portion of the northwest, has refused to let aid enter from controlled areas.
As per Hadi, the U.N., although acknowledging that “so far, we haven’t been successful,” is “working with all stakeholders” to open the path to assistance.
The U.N. has requested $397 million to give “desperately needed, life-saving help” for the upcoming three months, including housing, food, and medical treatment.
Hadi said it is too soon to consider that more issues will likely develop as the earthquake response transitioned from providing immediate emergency aid to rebuilding.
He declared, “Right now, the humanitarian task is what we need to concentrate on.