Swiss seismologist says earthquake in Türkiye’s Kahramanmaras province biggest in over 100 years

ISTANBUL : The World Bank announced Thursday it will initially provide $1.78 billion aid for Türkiye’s recovery and reconstruction efforts in the wake of powerful earthquakes.

The assistance aims to help relief and recovery efforts following devastating earthquakes and aftershocks in Türkiye that have already resulted in massive loss of life, injuries, and very significant damages in and around southern Türkiye, it said in a statement.

The World Bank said it has also commenced a rapid damage assessment to estimate the magnitude of the disaster and identify priority areas for recovery and reconstruction support.

“On behalf of the World Bank Group, we express our deepest condolences to the people of Türkiye and Syria for the great loss you have suffered as a result of the devastating earthquakes,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “We are providing immediate assistance and preparing a rapid assessment of the urgent and massive needs on the ground. This will identify priority areas for the country’s recovery and reconstruction as we prepare operations to support those needs.”

Immediate assistance of $780 million is offered via Contingent Emergency Response Components (CERCs) from two existing projects in Türkiye – the Türkiye Earthquake, Floods and Wildfires Emergency Reconstruction Project, and the Climate and Disaster Resilient Cities Project.

CERCs help recipient countries quickly access project funds for emergency response, as is needed now in Türkiye, as the assistance will be used for rebuilding basic infrastructure at the municipal level, according to the World Bank.

An additional $1 billion is being prepared to support people affected to provide immediate support for recovery and reconstruction from the disaster.

“Türkiye’s immediate and future needs are immense and span the whole range from relief to reconstruction,” said Humberto Lopez, the World Bank country director for Türkiye.

While the World Bank’s partnership with Türkiye dates back to 1950, it is a major partner in disaster risk management, urban development, and energy efficiency in the country.

The World Bank said its Türkiye program currently stands at 30 active lending operations worth $9 billion. — AA

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