A European pledge to allocate one billion euros for the reconstruction of Turkey after the earthquake
Yesterday, the European Commission pledged one billion euros to help Turkey in reconstruction, and 108 million euros ($115 million) in humanitarian aid to Syria, after the February 6 earthquake that killed more than 56,000 people in the two countries.
“The needs of the survivors are enormous, and they must be met immediately,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, at an international donor conference in Brussels.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan estimated Turkey’s losses as a result of the earthquake at “about $104 billion” (97 billion euros).
“It is impossible for a country to be able to face a disaster of this magnitude alone, whatever its economic situation,” he said in a video conference during the conference. Yesterday, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the holding of the donors’ conference to support the earthquake-affected people in Syria and Turkey in the Belgian capital, Brussels, without coordination with the Syrian government.
The earthquake claimed the lives of 50,096 people in Turkey, according to the latest official report, and 6,000 in Syria.
The earthquake destroyed the homes of millions of people in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, where a large number of refugees or people displaced by the Syrian conflict live. The United Nations estimated the cost of urgent reforms in Syria at $14.8 billion.
Germany stated that it would raise its aid to the earthquake victims to 240 million euros, while France announced additional aid worth 12 million, to be added to the 30 million it had allocated to Turkey and Syria.
About two weeks ago, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) expressed its regret at the poor response to an emergency call launched by the United Nations in mid-February to raise more than one billion dollars for Turkey, and about 400 million dollars for Syria. The appeal for Turkey has so far only been answered by 16%.