UNICEF said it fears that even without verified numbers, it is “tragically clear” that the number of children killed following the quake “will continue to grow.”

James Elder, a spokesman for the United Nations children’s agency, said 4.6 million children live in the 10 Turkish provinces hit by the disaster, while in Syria, 2.5 million children have been affected.

A woman sits on the rubble of her destroyed house on Tuesday in Kahramanmaras, Turkey.
Earthquake victims injured in Kahramanmaras arrive at Ataturk Airport by military cargo plane of Turkish Armed Forces for further medical treatment in Istanbul, Turkey on February 14, 2023.

As rescue operations start to shift to recovery efforts, UN workers are racing to funnel aid to survivors in Syria through two new border crossings approved by the government in Damascus.

The United Nations welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s decision on Monday to open “the two crossing points of Bab Al-Salam and Al Ra’ee” between Turkey and northwest Syria “for an initial period of three months to allow for the timely delivery of humanitarian aid.”

Eleven trucks with UN aid crossed into northwest Syria via the Bab Al-Salam passage on Tuesday, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths tweeted, adding that 26 more trucks passed into the region via the Bab Al-Hawa crossing.