Solidarity with children and families in Syria and Türkiye7 February 2023
We are concerned for children, particularly girls, and their families following devastating earthquakes in south-eastern Türkiye and north-west Syria.
Following the devastating earthquakes that have struck south-eastern Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and north-west Syria on Monday, 6th January, Plan International is extremely concerned for children, particularly girls and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of Türkiye and Syria.
This disaster comes at a time when the people of north-west Syria were already struggling to survive, following years of conflict, economic collapse, a cholera outbreak, and freezing winter conditions. Even before this crisis, many people have already been displaced multiple times and have limited access to healthcare.
Children’s lives turned upside down
Plan International is extremely concerned about the toll that yet another crisis will take on children, particularly girls and their families.
Dr Unni Krishnan, Global Humanitarian Director at Plan International said: “In the aftermath of earthquakes, children really do need support the most. Their lives have been turned upside down, and they need support to regain a sense of safety and normality while all is chaos around them.
“Our experience shows that children, especially girls, women and the poorest families, are often hardest hit in a disaster like an earthquake. Women and children in the disaster-zone will be at risk of exploitation and abuse, should they find themselves once again displaced. The protection and safety of children, particularly girls, must be a top priority.
Psychosocial impact of disasters
“We are also concerned about the psychosocial impact on children. Two catastrophic earthquakes, many deaths and injuries, and scenes of twisted steel and debris where once there stood homes, along with a constant fear of aftershocks, will have heightened fear and anxiety among children. Their lives are changed forever.”