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The EBRD Deploys Up to 1.5 Billion Euros in Turkey

A crack in the ground in Golbasi in Turkey’s Adiyaman province on March 1, 2023, from the aftermath of the earthquake that hit the country on February 6. Photo Jonathan Spicer/Reuters

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced Thursday its intention “to invest up to 1.5 billion euros” over the next two years in the regions of Turkey affected by the devastating earthquakes of FEBRUARY.

The EBRD thus intends to “support the recovery, reconstruction and reintegration of the economy of the region” in order to preserve “the means of subsistence and jobs in the towns affected”, it announced in a press release.

“This is one of the most devastating crises seen in Turkey and even in Europe for more than a century and the impact on people and the economy is extremely serious,” said Arvid Tuerkner, Managing Director from the EBRD for Turkey, quoted in the press release.

The sum invested will include 600 million euros in credit lines to local banks for directly affected businesses and individuals, as well as new loans to businesses participating in recovery and reconstruction efforts in the region.

The EBRD says it wants to support the reconstruction of “sustainable infrastructure” and will also focus funds on rebuilding the rail network to restore connectivity between the southeastern region and the rest of the country.

The only material damage caused by the earthquake in Turkey “exceeds 100 billion dollars” (94.7 billion euros), according to a summary calculation Tuesday of the World Bank, the UN, the European Union and the Turkish government.

The February 6 quake of magnitude 7.8, followed by another nine hours later of magnitude 7.6, killed nearly 46,000 people and injured 105,000 in Turkey, according to non-final reports. It also destroyed or condemned 214,000 buildings, sometimes more than 10 stories high, in 11 of Turkey’s 81 provinces. Nearly 6,000 people also lost their lives in Syria, according to the authorities.

The EBRD, founded in 1991 to help former Soviet bloc countries transition to a market economy, has since expanded its scope to include countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It is “the first institutional investor in Turkey”, having brought “nearly 17 billion euros in the country since 2009”, it specifies in its press release.

Source: L Orient-le Jour