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Long Road Ahead for Children's Recovery as International Community Pledges €7 Billion in Earthquake Funding to Türkiye and Syria

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (March 20, 2023)—Save the Children welcomes financial pledges from the international community to support people impacted by last month’s devastating earthquakes across Türkiye and Syria, but warns it’s a long road ahead to guarantee children’s recovery.

International donors have pledged 7 billion euros at today’s conference in Brussels, but with millions of people still displaced and damages exceeding USD $100 billion, it’s clear this is just the start. 

While the specific needs in Türkiye and Syria differ, they are equally significant and carry incalculable risks for children if neglected. In Syria, the earthquakes have compounded the impact of more than 12 years of conflict which had already left 15 million people across the country reliant on humanitarian aid.  

In Türkiye, more than 15 million people were directly affected, and 2.7 million people are still displaced. Rebuilding the hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed or damaged will take years. 

With funding commitments now made, the international community must ensure that children get the support they need in the immediate and long term. It is critical that the international community engages with, and listens to, children to better understand their unique needs and guarantee their protection. It is also vital that funding is channelled to Syrian and Turkish organizations, who have been on the frontline of the response so far.

Rasha Muhrez, Save the Children Syria Response Director said:

“The situation in Syria was already incredibly dire even before the earthquakes struck, with children lacking sufficient water, food, healthcare, education services, and increasingly, hope, after more than 12 years of war. 

“For far too long, the needs of Syrian children have been neglected. It shouldn’t have taken an earthquake to refocus the international community, but now it is time to shift our approach. We need to use this funding to rehabilitate schools, make hospitals fit for purpose, and ensure that children have safe homes.  

Today’s donor conference was an opportunity to commit to funding a long-term, sustainable approach to meeting the humanitarian needs of children across Syria while supporting them to begin the long process of recovery and providing them the opportunity to build a better life. It’s clear we need to go much further to guarantee this outcome.” 

Sasha Ekanayake, Country Director for Save the Children in Türkiye, said: 

“With 7 billion euros pledged for both the humanitarian response and longer-term reconstruction, the work starts now. Over two hundred thousand buildings, including homes, schools, and hospitals have been destroyed or damaged across Türkiye.  Children have been ripped from their homes, their safety and security shattered. 

“The funding commitments and the solidarity expressed today give hope to the millions of children and their families across Türkiye who are trying to piece their lives back together. It’s now critical that this international support goes as directly as possible to frontline organizations so it can reach the most vulnerable children and their families without delay.” 


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