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Donor conference: seven billion euros for earthquake victims


The international community is mobilizing seven billion euros for the victims of the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Syria. Germany has doubled its aid to 240 million euros.

States and international organizations want to provide seven billion euros for the reconstruction of the earthquake areas in Turkey and Syria. This amount was announced by Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson after a donor conference in Brussels.

The EU pledged one billion euros for Turkey and another 108 million euros for humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Syria.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock doubled the total German contribution to 240 million. Those who still have to live in tents and need medical care should continue to receive intensive support from Europe, said the Green politician.

In a video message, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan estimated the need for his country’s reconstruction at 104 billion US dollars (97 billion euros).

There is no water supply in many places

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the conference exceeded expectations. “We must maintain our support and help the survivors not only survive but also rebuild their lives.” She stressed that homes, schools and hospitals must be rebuilt to the highest earthquake-proof standards.

The fact that this was not the case before the devastating earthquake is considered by many in the country to be one of the reasons for the scale of the disaster. In addition, the water supply, sewage systems and other important infrastructure would have to be repaired. Six weeks after the catastrophe, these are still fallow in many places.

Millions of people continue to live in tents

On February 6, two earthquakes measuring 7.7 and a little later measuring 7.6 shook southeast Turkey and northern Syria. In Turkey alone, the official death toll has risen to more than 50,000, Erdogan said at the conference. Almost 300,000 buildings were severely damaged.

According to the government, 3.7 million people have been evacuated from the region since the disaster in Turkey, and almost two million people are currently living in tents.

In the past week, at least 18 people have also been killed by flooding in the region already affected by the quake. In some places the heavy rain continues. People from the region keep coming forward and calling for help because supplies are getting scarce.

Turkish earthquake victims are waiting in wet tents for real help

Katharina Willinger, ARD Istanbul, daily news at 8:00 p.m., March 20, 2023

Little information from Syria

The United Nations assumes that around 8.8 million people will be affected in Syria. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around 6,800 people died in the tremors across Syria. The total number of deaths from the quake is therefore almost 57,000.

There is only scant information about the situation from the civil war country. In the face of years of bombardment and fighting, many people there were already living in precarious conditions before the tremors. The EU provides support in both government-controlled and non-government-controlled areas.

Von der Leyen and Kristersson invited to the conference in Brussels. Sweden currently holds the presidency of the EU states. According to the EU, more than 60 countries, representatives of the United Nations, international development banks and other organizations took part in the meeting.

Katharina Willinger, ARD Istanbul, on the international donor conference for those affected in the Turkish-Syrian earthquake area

tagesschau24 10:00 a.m., 20.3.2023