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World Bank announces $1.78 billion in aid to Turkey for recovery after earthquake

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The World Bank on Thursday announced $1.78 billion in aid to Turkey to help relief and recovery efforts after a massive earthquake hit the country and neighboring Syria, claiming more than 20,000 lives, Agence France-Presse reported.

The 7.8-magnitude quake struck as people slept early Monday, with Turkish officials saying that over 70,000 people have been injured across 10 southeastern provinces hit hardest by the disaster.

“We are providing immediate assistance and preparing a rapid assessment of the urgent and massive needs on the ground,” said World Bank President David Malpass in a statement.

“This will identify priority areas for the country’s recovery and reconstruction as we prepare operations to support those needs,” he added.

Immediate assistance of $780 million will be offered via Contingent Emergency Response Components from two existing projects in Turkey, said the bank.

“The assistance will be used for rebuilding basic infrastructure at the municipal level,” the Washington-based development lender added.

Meanwhile, an added $1 billion in operations is being prepared to support people affected amid recovery and reconstruction from the catastrophe, the bank added.

The country’s needs are “immense and span the whole range from relief to reconstruction,” said Humberto Lopez, World Bank country director for Turkey.

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