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25 February | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

FM visits Syrian Embassy in Islamabad, conveys condolences for quake victims

Bilawal Bhutto pens his condolatory remarks in embassy’s guests’ book; assures full support, cooperation in hour of ordeal

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto visited the Syrian Embassy in Islamabad and conveyed condolences to Ambassador Dr Ramez Alraee over the loss of life and property caused by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck northwestern Syria and southern Turkey.

Speaking outside the Security Council chamber in New York, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced a $397 million humanitarian appeal to aid the people of earthquake-hit Syria, to help secure desperately needed relief for nearly five million people.

In his visit, the foreign minister also penned his condolatory remarks in the guests’ book placed at the Syrian Embassy. He assured the Syrian ambassador that the government and people of Pakistan stood by the Syrian people in that hour of the ordeal.

Bilawal Bhutto pens his condolatory remarks in embassy’s guests’ book; assures full support, cooperation in hour of ordeal
Bilawal Bhutto pens his condolatory remarks in embassy’s guests’ book

In New York, Antonio Guterres said that aid must get through from all sides and the funding would cover an initial period of three months. He said that a similar appeal was being finalized for survivors across the border in Turkiye.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, the United Nations rapidly provided $50 million through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The UN chief said that the Syria effort brings together the entire UN system and humanitarian partners and will help secure desperately needed, life-saving relief for Syrians, including shelter, healthcare, food and protection.

“We all know that lifesaving aid has not been getting in at the speed and scale needed with millions of people struggling for survival, homeless and in freezing temperatures,” he said. Emergency and search-and-rescue teams have deployed to assess and prioritize urgent needs and to provide life-saving assistance following the devastating earthquake near the Turkiye-Syria border.

“Aid must get through from all sides, to all sides, through all routes – without any restrictions,” he emphasized, noting that following Syria’s assurances last night, two extra crossings were now open to allow more aid into the northwest. He called on all member states, and others in the donor community, to fully fund this effort without delay and help the millions of children, women and men whose lives have been upended by this generational disaster.

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