15 November 2011The United Nations humanitarian fund announced today that it is allocating $3.4 million to provide shelter, education, health care and psychological support to thousands of people affected by the recent deadly earthquakes in south-eastern Turkey. Announcing the allocation from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said the contribution would “allow for critical, life-saving assistance for people affected” by the quakes.More than 600 people died after the first quake, measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, struck on 23 October, while two subsequent temblors have claimed at least 20 other lives. Basic infrastructure, including numerous schools, have been seriously damaged or destroyed as a result of the quakes.The funds allocated will be used by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), who are working with Government officials, the Turkish Red Crescent and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide relief to quake victims.UN agencies have identified the provision of tents and blankets as priorities given that winter is approaching in Turkey, and some of the affected areas are mountainous.The General Assembly created CERF – which is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – in 2005 to ensure that funding reaching those in need more quickly in the wake of a humanitarian emergency or crisis. More than $2.3 billion has been pledged by Member States to the fund since it began operations.
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