- 10 Feb 23
The death toll continues to rise: nearly 18,000 people have died in Turkey, and over 3,000 have died in Syria.
Following Monday's earthquakes on the Turkish-Syrian border, 26 employees of the Irish aid organisation Goal have died.
The horrific death toll now stands at more than 21,000 people. Furthermore, the disaster's effects have injured over 10,000 people.
On Thursday evening, the agency stated that its teams were still working around the clock to find a number of employees. Meanwhile, supporting the overall search and rescue mission.
“To say it has been a profoundly difficult week for the Goal teams in Türkiye and Syria cannot be overstated," Goal CEO Siobhan Walsh said. "Because of the sheer geography of destruction, and Goal's long-term presence in the communities so severely impacted, the scale of loss is far beyond anything we could have ever imagined."
With teams stationed in Turkey and Syria, The agency is still participating in the humanitarian response to the disaster. During the mobilisation to assess needs on the ground, staff attempts to restart assistance programmes that normally provide shelter, access to food, clean water, and health and social support in affected areas.
Spotlight on our partner @GOAL_Global response to the earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye 🔦
GOAL Teams are working on the ground and coordinating with the Turkish authorities and disaster and emergency agency to respond where needed
More info and donate https://t.co/8930w2Ehgm pic.twitter.com/ZgGNLCe9rl
— GlobalHealth.ie and ESTHER.ie (@ifglobalhealth) February 9, 2023
Micheál Martin, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, expresses his condolences to Goal on the loss of its personnel.
"The Goal staff members who lost their lives were carrying out vital humanitarian work to support the people of north-west Syria, who have suffered unimaginably over recent years," he said.
"Humanitarian workers put their own lives at risk to support the most vulnerable people in the world. Too often, they pay the ultimate price. I want to offer my sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, as well as to all the Goal teams around the world, for whom this will come as a devastating blow."
“The staff members who died dedicated their lives to supporting people in need of humanitarian care. Each of them leaves a legacy of kindness, compassion and humanity. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamnacha.”
— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) February 9, 2023
The earthquakes on Monday were described as a "disaster of the century" by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since then, many organisations and other supporters, such as clubs and charities, have sprung up to assist the people on the ground.
The area, affected by the two earthquakes and aftershocks, is larger than the distance between Manchester and Dublin. It is also home to over 13 million people in Turkey and an unknown number of Syrian citizens.
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