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On Saturday, the United Nations urged countries to speed up the reception of Syrian refugees from earthquake-hit areas in Turkey.

The United Nations made the call after 89 Syrian refugees arrived in the Spanish capital Madrid from Turkey.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 killed more than 45,000 people in Turkey and thousands more and destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings in neighboring Syria.

For nearly 12 years, Turkey has hosted some 3.5 million Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war since last month’s earthquake affected nine million people, including more than 1.7 million refugees.

“Many refugees who fled to Turkey in search of safety and security now face the trauma of loss and displacement after losing their homes and livelihoods,” the UN’s International Organization for Migration and UNHCR said in a joint statement.

“UNHCR is calling on States to accelerate resettlement and departure processes to help protect these most vulnerable refugees and reduce the pressure on communities affected by this humanitarian disaster,” said UNHCR President Filippo Grandi.

He added that many refugees affected by the disaster “need help” and we urge countries to step up, speed up operations and allow them to leave Turkey quickly.

He added that it would be “a concrete expression of solidarity and sharing of responsibilities, and guarantee immediate life-changing solutions for the most vulnerable refugees as a result of the earthquakes”.

Antonio Vittorino, head of the International Organization for Migration, thanked Spain for the move, saying “we will see similar initiatives very quickly.”

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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