About 828,000 workers lost their livelihoods in the earthquakes that struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria in February, according to International Labor Organization.

The first data show that in Turkey the earthquakes caused a decrease in economic activity which is equivalent to working approx 658,000 people, according to the estimates of this UN agency. In Syria, where the economy and labor market are paying a heavy price for the 12-year civil war, around 170,000 workers lost their jobs due to the earthquakes.

Without the provision of urgent and targeted assistance, poverty, undeclared work and child labor are at risk of increasing; warns the IOC.

“Job creation is vital to effectively deal with this disaster”the Director General of the Organization, Gilbert Hungbo, commented in his announcement.

“People can only start building their lives again if they find the means of survival again. We owe it to those who lost so much in the earthquake to ensure that the principles of social justice and decent work accompany the recovery and rebuilding process.” he added.

The IOC estimates that those workers will lose an average of about $230 a month in Turkey, as long as the market malfunctions continue. In the provinces affected by the earthquakes, most of the 4 million workers are employed in agriculture, manufacturing, trade and other services. In Syria this situation is experienced by approximately 154,000 households, i.e. 750,000 people and 35,000 very small and medium-sized businesses have been affected.

Last week international donors pledged €7 million in aid to those affected in Turkey and Syria. Since the February 6th earthquake, more than 56,000 people have been killed, while the damages exceed 100 billion euros.