Turkey needs international help and solidarity to rebuild

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The southern Turkey earthquakes in February were a catastrophic natural disaster, resulting in 49,000 deaths and the collapse of 272,860 buildings. The damages and losses caused by the disaster amount to $103.6bn, or nine percent of Turkey’s GDP. The replacement of 650,000 destroyed housing units alone is estimated to cost $66bn. At least 3.3 million people have seen their homes and possessions lost under rubble, and the earthquake survivors are leading precarious lives in primitive conditions. Reconstruction must reflect the spirit of “building back better”, ensuring that any new buildings conform strictly to zoning rules and seismic risk construction norms. The challenges of reconstruction are daunting, and huge investments and a clear vision that builds on the region’s strengths and assets will be required to bring the affected areas back to life.

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