The United Nations has received more than a quarter of the funds it requested, in other words $268 million, for operations to provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the devastating earthquake of February 6 in Turkey.

“The first, initial phase of the emergency — about the first three weeks — during which we conducted search and rescue operations and delivered essential life-saving supplies, has ended,” the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman explained ( OCHA) of the UN, Jens Lerke, during a press conference in Geneva.

“We are now in what we call the phase of (dealing with) the humanitarian crisis”, meaning meeting the needs of the earthquake victims, he continued.

On February 16, the United Nations appealed for international funding, to raise $1 billion so that its humanitarian agencies can provide aid for a three-month period to the more than 5 million earthquake victims in Turkey.

But the UN has so far collected only 268 million dollars, Mr. Lerke emphasized.

The five main donors are the US, Kuwait, the European Commission, the Central Emergency Reserve Fund (CERF) and Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, the European Commission pledged on March 20 to allocate one billion dollars to help reconstruction in Turkey, in the phase that will follow the humanitarian operations.

More than 9 million people were directly affected by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and 3 million were left homeless, according to UN estimates.

Its services mainly distributed food aid to nearly 3 million people, as well as basic household goods to 4.1 million affected.

The United Nations also appealed in February to raise nearly $400 million to provide aid, also over a three-month period, to the nearly 5 million people affected by the earthquake in Syria.

They have received $364 million so far, or 92 percent of the amount, Mr. Lerke said.

The top five donors are Germany, the US, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.

The UN and its partners provided shelter or tents to nearly 100,000 earthquake victims in Syria. In total, its services have carried out 45 cross-border missions from Turkey, meeting survivors, assessing their needs and coordinating the response.