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Erdogan lauds int’l solidarity as $7B pledged for quake-hit Türkiye, Syria

Türkiye will never forget the solidarity displayed by the EU, the UN and other international organisations after the February 6 earthquakes, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. 

“We will never forget the solidarity displayed by all our friends, the EU with its institutions, member and candidate countries, by the UN and other international organisations, in these difficult days,” Erdogan said on Monday. 

Erdogan virtually addressed the opening session of the International Donors’ Conference, organised by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council to support victims affected by the devastating earthquakes in southern Türkiye. 

“This conference is another example of how well-grounded the relations between our peoples are,” he said. 

Noting that the estimated cost of the devastation caused by the earthquakes was around $104 billion, he said: “It is not possible for a single nation to tackle a crisis of this scale on its own.”

Death toll from February earthquakes in Türkiye tops grim mark of 50,000

Donors pledge $7.5B 

International donors pledged seven billion euros ($7.5 billion) to help Türkiye and Syria recover from last month’s devastating earthquake, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said.

“We’ve heard voices from governments across the world proclaiming the one main message, that the people affected are not alone. We are with you,” Kristersson, who co-chaired the conference in Brussels.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, also welcomed the pledges.

“Thank you very much for showing the people of Syria and Türkiye that they are not alone, that we care, we are here to help,” she said.

The European Commission itself pledged €1 billion for reconstruction in Türkiye and a further package of €108 million for humanitarian assistance and early recovery in Syria.

On February 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces — Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa — in southern Türkiye, and claimed the lives of at least 50,096 people.

Türkiye grateful for ‘unprecedented’ global support after earthquakes

Rehabilitating quake victims

More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the devastating quakes, as well as many others in northern Syria. 

Türkiye currently hosts more than 4 million refugees, including 3.5 million Syrians, Erdogan said. 

“Today, as we heal the wounds of the disaster of the century in our country, we are in solidarity with the Syrian people who were affected by the earthquakes,” Erdogan said

“We provide the necessary facilitation for third parties and other countries to transfer humanitarian aid materials by land and air to earthquake victims in Syria. We will continue this attitude in the future,” he added.

Erdogan said 11,320 personnel from 90 countries had come to Türkiye after the quakes. 

“Aid from nearly 130 countries reached our earthquake victims. Thirty-six field hospitals were established thanks to you, our dear friends, and contributed to the treatment of our wounded,” he added. 

There are about 298,000 uninhabitable buildings in the earthquake zone that have either collapsed or are severely damaged and must be demolished immediately, said Erdogan, adding that the number of independent units in these buildings totalled 876,000. 

“We will rebuild and revive all our earthquake-damaged cities, including infrastructure, superstructure, workplaces, and historical and cultural assets,” he stressed. 

Türkiye plans to construct enough buildings in a year to meet the needs of quake victims, Erdogan said, adding that 319,000 houses would be built in the first year and 650,000 in total. 

The president added that Türkiye will set up 108,000 temporary container homes in two months and accommodate 500,000 people in them.

‘We stand with Türkiye’ campaign launched to strengthen solidarity

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