The World Bank Estimates that the Earthquake in Türkiye Damaged the Country’s Economy by $34 Billion
The two major earthquakes which hit Türkiye on Feb. 6 caused about $34.2 billion in direct physical damage, but total reconstruction and recovery costs facing the country could be twice as high, the World Bank said on Monday.
Earthquake Cost Türkiye Around 4% of Its Economic Output in 2021
The World Bank estimates that the earthquakes will result in a decrease of at least half a percentage point in Türkiye’s predicted GDP growth from 3.5% to 4% by 2023, according to Humberto Lopez, World Bank country director for Türkiye. Anna Bjerde, vice president of Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank Group, reported that the situation in neighboring Syria was “truly devastating.” The bank plans on releasing separate damage estimations regarding Syria this Tuesday.
Bjerde approximated that the primary damage assessment of Türkiye was $34.2 billion, which is equivalent to around 4% of its economic output in 2021; yet this estimate did not consider indirect or secondary effects on the country’s GDP nor include any damages from the last week’s earthquake. Bjerde pointed out that her past experience indicated reconstruction costs could be as high as two to three times higher than estimated direct physical losses.
The Earthquake Killed More than 44,000 and Left 1.7 Million People Homeless
On February 6, the most destructive earthquakes in modern Türkiye’s history struck with a 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude, leaving more than 44,300 people dead in their wake. Astonishingly enough, The World Bank reported that over 7500 aftershocks followed directly behind these deadly temblors; thus making it the biggest disaster to hit Türkiye since 1936.
The GRADE report from the bank estimates that an astounding 1.25 million people were left without shelter due to the destruction of their homes or complete collapse in 11 provinces, which are some of Türkiye’s poorest and host more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees – roughly half the population of those seeking refuge within its borders. Needless to say, this is a tragedy of immense proportions for all who have been affected by it.
Aiming to ease the financial burden in Türkiye, the World Bank has granted $780 million from two existing projects, along with an additional emergency recovery project worth a whopping $1 billion.