World donates 6 bln euros for Türkiye’s quake relief

The international community has collected slightly more than 6 billion euros for Türkiye and around 1 billion euros for Syria in a major donors’ conference organized by the European Union to assist the victims of the Feb. 6 earthquakes and the reconstruction of 11 Turkish provinces.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the sum of the donations for both countries reached 7 billion euros following the one-day international donors’ conference held in Brussels late on March 20.

“A lot of work is ahead of us. We are just beginning,” she said at the press conference along with EU Council term president Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

According to the outcome of the pledging session, Türkiye will be given 6 billion and 50,000 euros as loans and grants. Around 4.3 billion euros will be provided by international financial institutions and investment bodies such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank.

Of the 6 billion and 50,000 euros, a total of 3.3 billion euros is pledged by the EU team, including 1 billion euros from the commission and the rest from member countries and relevant institutions.

These loans will be provided for the infrastructure projects as part of reconstruction efforts of houses, hospitals, schools as well as municipal infrastructure. Around 1.75 billion euros will be granted, but many donations will be through the different U.N. agencies such as the UNHCR, UNICEF, or the World Food Program.

Syria will be given 950 million euros only for humanitarian assistance, but von der Leyen announced that a separate donors’ conference will be organized for the war-torn country in mid-June 2023.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who attend the conference, thanked the EU and international institutions for their donations, stressing, “Türkiye will never forget this support and solidarity.”

Çavuşoğlu stressed the need for swift allocation of granted money to fulfill the continued basic humanitarian needs of the victim, such as moving to proper temporary shelters.

“Our interlocutors are also aware of this need. We are in talks about this,” he said, underlining that loans will be activated in line with the launch of suitable infrastructure projects.

He also recalled that the government has just established a new disaster fund through which the loans and grants can be transparently channeled to Türkiye.

“All these pledges will be used for the earthquake victims and in all earthquake-related recovery and reconstruction efforts,” he stated.