Politics Rundown: Death toll rises following earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The United Nations Secretary-General appeals for $397 million in aid to support Syrian survivors.


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Death toll rises in Turkey and Syria as search and rescue efforts continue.

Shelby LaPorte, Staff Writer

On Feb. 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria followed by a 7.5 aftershock. This caused mass devastation and, nine days later, search efforts are still taking place. USA Today stated that nine million Syrians have been affected by this earthquake and, as of Feb. 14, the death toll has risen to over 41,000.


On Tuesday, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made an appeal for $397 million in order to provide aid to Syrian survivors of the tragic earthquake. Since the earthquake, 84 trucks have been sent through Bab Al-Hawa, the only crossing to northwest Idlib. Guterres gave a statement in the AP News about how this money will help survivors. 

“The $397 million will provide ‘desperately needed, life-saving relief for nearly 5 million Syrians — including shelter, health care, food and protection’ for three months,” Guterres said.

Guterres is also pushing for all restrictions on routes to Syria to be dropped so that supplies can be brought by the U.N. to survivors. As of now, there are crossings at Bab Al-Hawa, Bab Al-Salam, Al Raee and two more from Turkey.


On Feb. 20, 2014, the Russo-Ukrainian war began. Nine years later, on Feb. 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, several countries have provided aid to Ukranians, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada. GOP leaders have insisted that the U.S. continue to provide financial aid for the war effort. These leaders are receiving pushback, however, from fellow Republican colleagues.

According to Florida Republican Matt Gaetz quoted in the AP News, “America is in a state of managed decline, and it will exacerbate if we continue to hemorrhage taxpayer dollars toward a foreign war.”

In addition to this, 11 House Republicans released a “Ukraine Fatigue” resolution, which stated that the U.S. needs to cease their financial aid and allow Russia and Ukraine to come to a peace agreement themselves.

There are some Republican representatives, however, who have remained firm in their desire to help the war effort. Kentucky Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for one, has repeatedly tried to get President Joe Biden to provide more aid to Ukraine.

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