The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to invest up to €1.5 billion in Türkiye’s south-eastern region over the next two years to address the impact of the devastating earthquakes that took place on 6 February 2023, APA reports citing EBRD.
The EBRD response aims to support the recovery, reconstruction and reintegration of the region’s economy to preserve human capital, livelihoods and jobs in the affected cities.
The Bank’s response will include €600 million in credit lines to local banks for businesses and individuals directly affected by the earthquakes, as well as new lending to companies participating in recovery and reconstruction efforts in the area, strengthening the private sector’s role.
The EBRD will also support the reconstruction of sustainable infrastructure in the affected cities, building on the Bank’s strong track record of cooperation with municipalities such as Hatay and Gaziantep. It will also focus funds on the reconstruction of the railway network to re-establish connectivity between the south-eastern region and the rest of the country.
The Bank will expand its strong private-sector partnerships and work with companies in various sectors to enable them to continue operating and withstand disruptions to local value chains. It will also help the private sector to adopt new technologies and green principles in planned rebuilding projects.
A key focus of the response package will be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region. The Bank will provide funding, advisory services and mentorship with a view to repairing damage, building resilience and rebuilding supply chains for businesses in the affected cities.
Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Türkiye, said: “This is one of the most devastating crises seen in Türkiye and Europe, for that matter, in over a century and the impact on the population and the economy is extremely severe. The EBRD is ready to support Türkiye and its private sector in its recovery and reconstruction efforts by building on its strong track record and existing relationships in the country.”
“The EBRD’s response of up to €1.5 billion is substantial and reflects the Bank’s commitment to Türkiye, particularly in these painful and challenging times,” he continued. “We will work with the authorities and our partners across sectors to rebuild and reintegrate the region’s economy, while strengthening its green credentials, resilience and competitiveness.”
The EBRD’s response will require additional donor funds and cooperation to support human capital and skills policies, SME advisory, infrastructure project preparation and implementation.
On 6 February 2023, a series of violent earthquakes struck southern and central Türkiye and northern and western Syria, resulting in widespread damage and more than 50,000 fatalities across the region.
The destruction and loss of human life are unmatched in the country’s history. According to World Bank estimates, direct physical damage to the region totals around US$ 34 billion, while the cost of reconstruction could be twice that, requiring significant spending on the government side.
The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Türkiye, having invested almost €17 billion in the country since 2009, 93 per cent of that in the private sector. In 2022 alone, the Bank invested more than €1.6 billion in the country.