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Children ‘completely on edge’ amid ongoing aftershocks in Turkey and Syria, UNICEF says

UNICEF spokesperson said that children are “completely on edge” after the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and they fear their “world will be turned upside-down again” by ongoing aftershocks.

Nearly 52,000 people died in The Disaster. Many buildings were destroyed and others left unsafe to occupy.

Joe English, UNICEF’s communication specialist, said that he visited Turkey and Syria to see the destruction and “buildings just completely flattened and pancaked.”

For many Syrians, however, the earthquake is just another tragedy on top of the civil war in Syria.


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English stated that families in northwest Syria are living in tents because they were forced to flee multiple times due to the conflict.

He said, “We are now approaching 12 years worth of conflict. Majid was a nine-year-old boy that I spoke to earlier in the week.

More about the Turkey-syria earthquake

His entire childhood was spent against the backdrop of displacement and airstrikes. He once again had to be forced from his home, and his mother had to explain why they couldn’t stay there. This is only the latest disaster.

English stated that it was crucial for children to get back to school as soon possible. “That gives them hope for the future, and that gives them the feeling that there is more down the road.”

Image Amina Raslan, a Syrian woman, sits with her children and grandchildren at the partially damaged house of her son in Aleppo (Syria).
Image Sabriye Shaymusa (9 years old) takes stools from her home to set up their tent after the devastating earthquake in Bozhoyuk (Turkey).

This generation will rebuild the nation

English stated Majid and his brother said to him that when they are grown up, they would like to be a doctor or engineer.

“And I thought that was such a special dream for a child. He said that he saw children who want to help others every day.

“They want doctors to help people injured by war or earthquakes. Because they have seen their societies destroyed by war or natural disasters, they want to become engineers.

Image In the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, a damaged mosque can be seen in Idlib, Syria
Image Man waves to neighbor as he walks towards his home in Bozhoyuk (Turkey).

Another crisis in the making

English stated that the access to clean water is a major problem for earthquake survivors in Syria. There are also thousands of cholera cases reported in northwest Syria.

Mr English stated, “It’s a sad irony that I can speak to a child after they have lived through 12 years worth of war, catastrophic earthquakes, tens to thousands of aftershocks and countless other hazards. The thing which could pose the greatest risk right now for them is a glass water.”

Image Aziz Asmar, a Syrian artist, paints street art over the rubble of destroyed buildings in Jandaris (Syria).

We hope the world doesn’t move on

He stated that it was crucial to ensure that the Syria crisis does not affect people’s minds by encouraging people to “continue talking about this work, to give to organizations doing this amazing work, and to pressure their politicians to support this work.”

“Hopefully, we won’t be in a position in a month or a year where the world has moved forward again.”


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