The EU and its Member States intend to make a substantial pledge for additional relief, recovery, and reconstruction in Turkey, as well as additional relief, recovery, and rehabilitation in Syria. The EU urges other international partners and global donors to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Turkey and Syria in these trying times by mobilising pledges commensurate with the scale and magnitude of the damage.
As a result, on 20 March in Brussels, the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council will host an International Donors’ Conference to assist those affected by the recent devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Co-hosted by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and by Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, for the Swedish Presidency of the Council, and organised in coordination with the Turkish authorities, the Donors’ Conference will be open to EU Member States, candidate countries and potential candidates, neighbouring and partner countries, G20 members – except for Russia – Member States of the Gulf Cooperation, as well as the UN, international organisations, humanitarian actors and international and European financial institutions.
“Six weeks after the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria , we come together to support the survivors of this tragedy. Our solidarity will continue to be as strong as it was in the first hours after the earthquake. The people in Türkiye and Syria should know that we are with them for the long run. I invite all nations and all donors, public and private, to contribute and honour the memory of the lives lost, the heroism of the first responders and most importantly to build together a better future for the survivors.”
President Ursula von der Leyen
“The earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria is a disaster of historic proportions. I’m saddened by the loss of lives and homes, and the human suffering. The consequences are truly horrendous. As President of the Council of the European Union, Sweden will do everything in our power, together with the EU and international partners, to help those affected in the next phases of the rehabilitation and early recovery.”
Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Sweden.
Preparations for the International Donors’ Conference are underway following the initial discussions between Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell, and the Turkish authorities during their recent visit to Ankara.
Invitations are expected to be sent shortly.
Following the 6 February earthquakes, the EU immediately sent support such as search and rescue and medical teams, shelter, medicines via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We also quickly allocated humanitarian assistance to the people affected in both countries, as well as mobilised our EU emergency stockpiles via the European Humanitarian Response Capacity and RescEU.
In total, close to €12 million of EU humanitarian aid has been allocated to respond to the immediate needs of the population in Türkiye, and some €10 million have been immediately mobilised to respond to the immediate consequences of the earthquake in Syria.
1,750 rescuers and 111 search dogs were deployed via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) to support search and rescue operations in Türkiye. Several lives have been rescued by the search and rescue teams deployed via the Mechanism. 20 EU Member States, including Sweden, and Montenegro have offered millions of items, including shelter equipment, heaters, generators, furniture, medical equipment, hygiene kits, food, and warm clothing for the population in Türkiye. Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and
The EU is delivering support to Syrian people affected by the earthquake both in government controlled and non-government controlled areas. 6 flights organised via the European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC), have already transported much needed assistance from EU stocks in Dubai and Brindisi to both Northwest Syria and government-controlled areas. Winterised tents, heaters, blankets and warm clothing, hygiene kits, medical consumables and equipment as well medical units, field beds and other emergency items to people affected by the earthquake are being delivered to Syrians in need. In addition, 16 European countries have offered in-kind assistance to Syrian people via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The aid is being channelled through hubs in Beirut and Gaziantep, where EU civil protection experts help coordinate the incoming donations. Full coordination of all relevant actors will be essential as we advance.
The International Donors’ Conference will be held back-to-back with the European Humanitarian Forum, co-organised on 20 and 21 March 2023 by the European Commission and the Swedish Council Presidency. The Forum will take place in the context of sharply increasing humanitarian needs, changing geopolitical realities, and shrinking humanitarian space. It will provide a platform for European actors and international community to discuss ongoing humanitarian challenges, including the humanitarian funding gap and the need to broaden the donor base.
In addition to the International Donors’ Conference, on 14-15 June the EU will host the 7th Brussels conference on the Future of Syria and the Region. The aim of the June conference will be both to focus international engagement for a political solution to the conflict, and to generate pledges of humanitarian support for Syria and in support of Syrian refugees and their host communities in the wider region. The EU and its Member States have remained the largest donors supporting people in Syria and the region since the beginning of the crisis in 2011.