The head of Nato visited Turkey in a show of solidarity following the devastating earthquake as donations to a UK charity appeal providing aid in the region hit £84 million.
Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg pledged ongoing support as he met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on Thursday.
Describing the tragedy as the “deadliest natural disaster on alliance territory since the foundation of Nato”, Mr Stoltenberg said the bloc will continue helping to set up temporary housing and will deploy aircraft to perform medical evacuations.
“Nato allies continue to provide support; military aircraft from the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the United States are working day and night to transport international aid to Turkey, and perform medical evacuations.
“Other allies like Albania, Canada and Germany are providing financial and other types of aid; and across Nato, ordinary citizens are raising millions of euros in support to Turkey. This is true and deep solidarity.
“I also welcome the contributions of our invitees Finland and Sweden, showing solidarity in action,” he said.
DEC groups and their local partners have been providing food, water, shelter, and warm clothing – for children and families in both Turkey and Syria since the disaster.
The death toll of the earthquake is now believed to have surpassed 35,000 people in Turkey, according to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
UN officials have warned the number of people killed could exceed 50,000.
“Survivors are now facing a second disaster, left without adequate shelter, food, safe drinking water or sanitation facilities such as toilets and clean water in bitterly cold conditions.
“The international community must do all it can, as fast as it can, in order to prevent a second humanitarian disaster.”
Johan Mooij, World Vision’s Syria response director, said: “Syrian children are again at risk of being forgotten following the aftermath of this unimaginable crisis.
“It is not enough that they have suffered from almost 12 years of war and destruction, this massive earthquake has added another complexity to their young lives, in certain cases even taking their loved ones from them.
“It is urgent that we address the needs of unaccompanied children, to ensure they can still receive the care they desperately need in north-west Syria.”