Today, a total of €7 billion were pledged by the international community at the ‘Together for the people of Türkiye and Syria’ International Donors’ Conference, co-hosted by the President of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, and by the Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, for the Swedish Presidency of the Council.
More than 60 delegations from the EU, its Member States and partners, including the UN, international and European financial institutions such as the EIB and the EBRD, and other relevant stakeholders met in Brussels to mobilise support for the people in Türkiye and Syria after the devastating earthquakes of February 2023. The aim was also to coordinate the response in the affected areas in both countries.
The pledging session was chaired by Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell. Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič gave an address on earthquakes’ impact and immediate emergency response in Türkiye and Syria.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: "Today is a very good day for international solidarity. Together with our partners, we have raised €7 billion in total to support the people in Türkiye and Syria, following the devastating earthquakes. More than half of this pledge comes from Team Europe. We have shown to the world that we are supporting those in need. And we always stand by our partners."
Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson said: “Today's meeting had one important goal: to turn our words of condolences and solidarity into action.And provide a strong, efficient, and coordinated response to help the people affected by the devastating earthquakes. For the Swedish EU Presidency, we are grateful for the good cooperation with the Commission in arranging today's conference, and very impressed by the substantial results today, and humbled by the important work ahead of us.”
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič stressed: “In the aftermath of the earthquake, Europe has acted as one. We pooled our resources in the face of this humanitarian disaster to help people in Syria and Türkiye. European search and rescue as well as medical teams have worked tirelessly in Türkiye to help those trapped or injured. In both Türkiye and Syria, our humanitarian partners as well as assistance from EU stockpiles and Member States have offered relief to people wherever they are. We will continue to help those suffering the effects of these devastating earthquakes thanks to the pledges made today.”
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi added: “Today’s gathering of more than 60 delegations, just 6 weeks after the terrible earthquake, is a testament in solidarity with the people of Türkiye and Syria. The donors’ conference mobilised the global community in record time, in line with the scale of the tragic natural disaster. We will support in Türkiye the early recovery and reconstruction, we will help building new houses, schools, hospitals, nurseries and infrastructure, so that normal life can return to the effected regions. We are standing by you and will continue to support you all the way.”
“The people in Türkiye and Syria have suffered unimaginable losses as a result of the devastating earthquakes at the start of February. On behalf of the European Investment Bank Group I would like to say that we stand with you during these challenging times. I welcome the initiative of the European Commission and the Swedish EU Presidency in organising today’s Donor’s conference where we are able to announce - subject to the approval of our shareholders –a financing package of up to €500 million to support reconstruction efforts in Turkey in the aftermath of this disaster. This financing for the devastated Turkish regions and municipalities will target the reconstruction of housing and infrastructure and help business and communities to recover,” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
The total pledge of this International Donors' conference amounts to €7 billion, of which €6.05 billion in grants and loans for Türkiye and €911 million in grants for Syria.
The European Commission and the EU Member States, as well as the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development represent more than 50% of this total pledge, as Team Europe, with €3.6 billion, whilst the Council of Europe Development Bank made also an important contribution of €500 million in loans and an additional €3 million in grants.
The funds for Türkiye will be used to cover humanitarian needs and help the reconstruction of the affected regions. The preliminary damage assessment in Türkiye demonstrates very large needs above USD 100 billion with a lot of damage to public infrastructure and residential buildings.
The reconstruction efforts will ensure that all international standards for construction in seismic regions are taken into account and also the priorities of the Turkish Green Deal. The funds for Syria will be used to help meet humanitarian needs and support early recovery and resilience.
On 6 February 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by two devastating tremors, struck Türkiye and Syria, causing widespread destruction, and killing more than fifty thousand people. The European Union immediately mobilised support for the people in Türkiye and Syria after the earthquake. EU humanitarian partners on the ground have responded providing shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene and health services and distribution of food and in-kind assistance such as blankets, winter clothing and other essential relief items.
A total of 1,750 rescuers and 111 search dogs were immediately deployed to Türkiye via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, in the largest-ever search and rescue operation of the Mechanism. European countries also deployed 6 medical teams, including 5 field hospitals and a medical evacuation plane via the Mechanism. They have already treated 15,000 people.
In addition, 21 European countries sent assistance via the Mechanism, including shelter equipment, heaters, generators, furniture, medical equipment, hygiene kits, food, and warm clothing for the population in Türkiye. The EU also mobilised its rescEU stockpiles to provide shelter, beds, and medical equipment.
In Syria EU funded humanitarian partners conducted search and rescue operations, they also continue to provide shelter, water and sanitation services, health care, and basic needs.
In addition, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated 2 days after the earthquake. Relief from 16 European countries was trucked in via Tϋrkiye and Lebanon to government and non-government controlled areas. The EU also sent critical shelter items, including winterised tents and heaters to the Syrian people from the European Humanitarian Response Capacity warehouses in Brindisi and Dubai to support the aid efforts throughout the country.
The Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) supported the needs assessment by providing data on the earthquake impact on buildings, especially on the volume of debris, used to estimate economic figures for reconstruction needs. The JRC also provided an analysis on the floods, possible earthquake-affected dams, as well as of the impact of the earthquake on the cultural heritage or on agriculture in Türkiye and in Syria.
- Publication date
- 20 March 2023 (Last updated on: 24 March 2023)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)