A video of a young boy celebrating with rescue workers who pulled him out from under rubble following the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria on Monday Feb. 6 has provided a much needed glimpse of hope as the death toll from the quake rises by the day.
The boy named Karam was saved by the White Helmets, a humanitarian group operating in Syrian conflict zones, on the first day of the earthquake, according to a viral video from the organization.
In the video, Karam can be seen smiling and tapping various rescuers’ helmets after being pulled from underneath the ruins of a house in Idlib, Syria, while the rescue workers surround him with huge smiles on their face.
The death toll from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake has almost reached 20,000 people, and at least 24 million people have been affected, according to Reuters.
A second earthquake and multiple aftershocks were felt throughout the day and endangered rescue missions.
Several countries and organizations have already sent rescue teams and supplies to help people in Turkey.
However, international sanctions on Syria, which been in an 11 year civil war, has delayed aid in reaching the Syrian people, especially in non-government controlled areas.
UN aid convoy did not reach northwest Syria until Thursday, when the only border between Turkey and Syria to reach rebel-held zone was reopened.
The Syrian Assad government has stated that aid must go through the capital first, but the government has been heavily sanctioned by the US and the European Union.
“The Syrian state is ready to allow aid to enter into all regions, provided that it does not reach terrorist armed groups,” the Syrian foreign minister said.
Rebel-held zone infrastructure in Syria has been heavily damaged throughout the war and millions of people already suffered from food insecurity and disease outbreaks.
“Syrians don’t know where their next meal comes from. When we say meal, it’s not about vegetables, not about meat… it’s about simple bread,” Syria’s Oxfam country director said, according to CNN.