ActionAid says the situation for women, girls, and marginalized communities in the aftermath of the Turkey Syria earthquake is becoming increasingly alarming.
With reports that many families will spend another night without any form of temporary shelter in freezing cold conditions, ActionAid says it fears for the safety of those out on the streets. It is also concerned there are no provisions for women and girls who are menstruating, pregnant, or breastfeeding and have particular needs.
So far more than 5000 people have been killed and more than 23000 have been injured by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey.
Women and girls living in the regions impacted by the earthquake were already living in very vulnerable situations having fled their homes in Syria and relying on humanitarian assistance.
Racha Nasreddine, Regional Director of ActionAid Arab Region, said:
‘‘This is a shocking situation, after 12 years of conflict in Syria, women and girls internally displaced in Syria and living as refugees in Turkey were already in a very vulnerable situation before the earthquake and now they have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed.
“We know that women and girls often suffer the most during humanitarian emergencies. Violence against them increases and they are more at risk of being exploited. There’s very limited access to services like hospitals and so pregnant women are at risk of complications if they can’t receive the medical care they need. Those who are menstruating will also need to manage their periods without the right products and with very little privacy.
“We are urgently assessing the situation with our partner on the ground and working through our response plan. We know there is an urgent need for spaces women and girls can go to which are safe, as well as kits which have period products in, so we will be making sure these are addressed.”
Action Aid is calling on the international community to ensure the humanitarian response to the earthquake is adequately funded, including the care of survivors of gender-based violence, and to support the safe and unhindered access of aid organizations to the hardest hit communities.
ActionAid is a global federation that works with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world's poorest countries. We want to see a just and sustainable world, in which everyone enjoys the right to a dignified life and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work for social justice and gender equality and poverty eradication