The European Commission will provide Turkey with a billion euros to help rebuild after the earthquake, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday. A further €108 million will go to help Syria, also affected by last month’s earthquake.
In the earthquake that hit the Turkish-Syrian border on February 6, over 52,000 died. people. Over 200,000 buildings have collapsed or been severely damaged, with the most severe damage Turkey. According to the Turkish Anatolia Agency, 13.5 million people were affected by the seismic tremors. – Millions of people have become homeless and still live in tents – said von der Leyen, quoted by the AP agency, opening a one-day donors conference in Brussels. It is also attended by non-governmental organizations and representatives of international organizations. – We must mobilize for reconstruction. Homes, schools and hospitals must be rebuilt with the highest seismic safety standards. Water supply, sewage and other elements of critical infrastructure must be repaired. Restart capital is needed so people can earn a living von der Leyen said.
Money is needed for food, clean water and shelter
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said it was counting on action to be taken as soon as possible. Tanya Evans, director of IRC in Syriareminded that funds are needed for food, shelter, clean water, as well as support for the strained health system, including the provision of medicines and medical equipment.
“If it fails, the most vulnerable will pay the price,” Evans said. In Syria, the area in the northwest of the country controlled by rebel forces was particularly affected. Humanitarian aid was scarce and with great difficulty, because it was only a few days after the tremors that the government in Damascus agreed to open additional border crossings with Turkey through which aid could be transferred. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that the cost of reconstruction in Turkey alone will exceed $103 billion.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ERDEM SAHIN