The European Commission wants to support Turkey with one billion euros for the reconstruction of the country after the earthquake disaster six weeks ago. This was announced by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday at a donor conference in Brussels. The German politician announced another package worth 108 million euros for humanitarian and initial reconstruction aid in Syria.

“We have to keep up our support and help the survivors not only to survive but also to rebuild their lives,” von der Leyen said. She stressed that homes, schools and hospitals must be rebuilt to the highest earthquake-proof standards.

240 million from Germany

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had previously announced that Germany would double its aid to Turkey and Syria to a total of 240 million euros.

On February 6, two earthquakes measuring 7.7 and a little later measuring 7.6 shook southeast Turkey and northern Syria. In all, more than 50,000 people lost their lives and millions were left homeless. Von der Leyen had invited to the donor conference together with the Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. Kristersson announced on Monday that his country would support Turkey and Syria with 45 million euros.

Civil war has been raging in Syria for twelve years. Because Bashar al-Assad’s government is brutally cracking down on its own people, the EU does not want to finance the country’s reconstruction. That’s why she limited her help after the earthquake to humanitarian support and the most necessary reconstruction – for example to repair water pipes.