ILO to provide $3.6 million for workers in Turkey, Syria affected by quakes

The International Labour Organization (ILO) will provide $3.6 million in direct support to workers and their families affected by devastating earthquakes that struck southern Turkey in early February.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that we have allocated USD 3.6 million of support to affected workers and their families and are working to mobilise additional resources for future work,” ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat said at an International Donors’ Conference in Brussels on Monday to raise funds and coordinate the relief response in areas affected in both Turkey and Syria.

The funds will go towards implementing emergency employment schemes to help rehabilitate destroyed infrastructure and restore the livelihoods in affected communities in the two countries, according to a press release from ILO.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep – home to around 2 million people and on the border with Syria – as people were sleeping on February 6 was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue efforts the same day.

The Donors’ Conference was co-hosted by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and by Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson. A total of €7 billion were pledged by the international community at the conference.

The conference was attended by representatives of EU Member States, candidate countries and potential candidate countries, neighboring countries and partner countries, G20 countries (except Russia), Gulf Cooperation Council Member States, the United Nations, international organizations, humanitarian actors and international and European financial institutions.

The EU will provide €1 billion to help Turkey rebuild after last month’s earthquakes.

According to relief organizations the impact of the earthquakes will be felt for months and years to come.

The damage in Turkey alone could amount to over $100 billion and $14.8 billion in Syria, the UN said and launched a $1 billion funding appeal to support millions of people in Turkey.

UN humanitarian agencies will need $397.6 million in funding over the next three months to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs of 4.9 million people in Syria who have been affected by the quakes, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

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