My thoughts and prayers are with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and First Lady Emine Erdoğan, the Turkish Government and the people of Central and South-East Turkey, as well as the people and refugees of already vulnerable Northern Syria today, as they face the traumatic aftermath and damage of the devastating earthquakes this morning.
First responders have commenced rescue efforts and calls for international assistance are underway. In times such as these, collective efforts, support and global unity is required.
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesushas has immediately assured that the WHO network of emergency medical assistance has been promptly activated to provide essential care for the injured and most vulnerable. This response alongside those of national and international humanitarian agencies and organisations will be vital to provide sustained support at such a trying time.
My condolences to the families who have lost loved ones, as I hope and pray that rescue efforts brace up with coordinated strength and fortitude for the difficult hours and days that lie ahead.