The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has issued an appeal for $550 million for 31 projects aimed at restoring livelihoods, public services and cultural heritage in southern Turkey, which was struck by devastating earthquakes in early February.
The UNDP’s announcement came following an international donors conference in Brussels on March 20 to raise funds and coordinate the relief response in areas affected in both Turkey and Syria.
According to a press release from the UNDP Turkey Office, the agency has prepared an offer comprising 31 “build back better” projects for which it is seeking funding as part of recovery and reconstruction efforts that the organization is proposing to implement in the country. Along with the reconstruction of houses and infrastructure, the projects are aimed at restoring livelihoods and social services.
“The scope of the destruction is unprecedented,” said Louisa Vinton, UNDP resident representative in Turkey. “This is why we expect equally unprecedented commitments from global donors.”
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 Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson. A total of €7 billion was 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.