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Two powerful earthquakes devastated large areas of Turkey and Syria on the 6th of February, and more than 50,000 people have reportedly been killed and thousands more injured. The International Rescue Committee said that the earthquakes have devastated regions of Syria where a large number of internally-displaced people and families are living. Since last August, the Syrian government has enforced a blockade on civilians in predominantly Kurdish areas in the northern Aleppo region, obstructing their access to fuel and other essential supplies. 

Here are four key things you should know:

1) An already bleak situation made worse

The devastating earthquakes have made an already bleak humanitarian situation worse for civilians. Many have already endured forced displacement, bombing raids, poverty, disease, hunger, and years of injustice.

2) Aid blocked in Syria's Opposition-held areas

For years, the Syrian government has stopped aid deliveries from reaching the four million people who desperately need help in opposition-controlled areas.

3) A healthcare crisis already exists

Health care was already overwhelmed, mainly due to the destruction of hospitals and clinics by Russian forces and Assad's regime.

4) The UK Government needs to step up

The UK should help get aid to those in need by working with other countries and the UN, even if Assad's government tries to block it or if the government in Russia or China object.

Humanitarian aid is an urgent necessity, not a political tool. Learn more by listening to our Crisis Response Manager, Kristyan Benedict, speak to The New Arab Voice about the desperate situation in Syria following the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey.