UN appeals for $1 billion to help Turkey earthquake victims

OZAN KOSE/ AFP

The United Nations on Thursday appealed for more than $1 billion to help more than 5 million people in Turkey over the next three months following the devastating earthquake this month that has killed more than 36,000 people in the country's south.

U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths, who visited Turkey last week, said the people have "experienced unspeakable heartache," adding: "We must stand with them in their darkest hour and ensure they receive the support they need."

The latest appeal comes just two days after the U.N. launched a $400 million appeal for Syrians affected by the earthquake.

A teenage girl was pulled alive from the rubble in Turkey on Thursday, but such rescues have become increasingly rare, leaving anger to smoulder as hope dies.

The 17-year-old was extracted from the ruins of a collapsed apartment bloc in Turkey's southeastern Kahramanmaras province, broadcaster TRT Haber reported, 248 hours since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the dead of night on February 6.

The quake killed at least 36,187 in southern Turkey, while authorities in neighbouring Syria have reported 5,800 deaths - a figure that has changed little in days.

International aid agencies are stepping up efforts to help the millions of people left homeless, many of whom are sleeping in tents, mosques, schools or in their own cars.

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