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EU agrees to $426 million in earthquake relief for Turkey

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The European Council agreed on Monday to the European Commission’s proposal to provide a total of €400 million euros ($426 million) to Turkey in earthquake relief, according to a statement on the European Council’s website.

The assistance will come from the EU’s 2023 budget.

Two devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey’s south on Feb. 6 killed more than 50,000 people and left millions homeless in more than a dozen cities, causing damage in the amount of $100 billion, according to official Turkish figures.

The EU will transfer money from the solidarity and emergency aid reserve in its 2023 budget to the so-called EU Solidarity Fund operational budget line, from where it can be paid to the countries that have applied for financial assistance from this fund after being struck by natural disasters.

Two other countries, hit by drought and flash floods, Romania and Italy, will also be provided financial assistance by the EU in an amount of 33.9 million euros and 20.9 million euros, respectively.

The financial aid will be paid out once both proposals have been adopted by the European Parliament and the council.

Turkey received huge donations from abroad in the aftermath of the deadly earthquakes in February, which also claimed more than 8,000 lives in Syria and caused widespread damage.

A total of 7 billion euros was pledged by the international community at the International Donors’ Conference ‘Together for the people in Türkiye and Syria,’ co-hosted on March 20 by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the prime minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, for the Swedish Presidency of the council.

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