Last month’s devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria has resulted in damage worth over $100 billion for Turkey alone, according to the United Nations. Louisa Vinton of the UN Development Program stated that the damage costs would be in addition to the recovery costs. The earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, caused the loss of over 45,000 lives in Turkey and 5,000 in neighboring Syria. It also flattened entire cities, including the Turkish city of Elazig.
The World Bank estimated last week that the earthquake had caused damage worth more than $34 billion in Turkey, and that the recovery costs would likely double that sum. However, Vinton argued that the Turkish government, along with support from UNDP, the World Bank, and the European Union, had calculated far higher damage costs. According to her, preliminary calculations showed that the damage figure presented by the government and supported by the three international partners would be in excess of $100 billion.
The recovery and reconstruction donor conference is set to take place in Brussels next week, with the estimated damage figure serving as the basis for the conference. The recovery costs, which include efforts to build improved and more environmentally sustainable infrastructure, will obviously exceed the damage costs. However, UNDP expressed its disappointment and sadness at the low level of response to funding appeals to date. Despite the $1 billion flash appeal made on February 16, the current funding is only at 9.6 percent of the total.
The earthquake has caused immense damage and loss of life in Turkey and Syria, with the Turkish government and international partners estimating the costs to be over $100 billion. The recovery and reconstruction donor conference in Brussels will help to provide aid and support to the affected areas. UNDP urges the international community to contribute to funding appeals to help those affected by the disaster. The earthquake serves as a reminder of the importance of building infrastructure that is resilient and sustainable, as well as the need for international collaboration and support during times of crisis.
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