Sweden’s support to those affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria
The earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria in February caused a humanitarian crisis for the people in the affected areas. Sweden and the EU have given extensive humanitarian support and provided experts and equipment. By April 2023, Sweden’s support totalled around EUR 50 million.
On 6 February 2023, Türkiye and Syria were struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, followed by two major aftershocks. The earthquakes caused widespread destruction and claimed tens of thousands of lives. In Syria, more than 15 million people were already in need of humanitarian aid, a situation that was further exacerbated by the earthquakes.
Support from Sweden and the EU
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, Sweden began work to assist the affected areas in Türkiye and Syria.
By April 2023, Sweden’s support totalled around approximately EUR 50 million. Support efforts have been undertaken in close cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and the Swedish Armed Forces, who have all provided various forms of assistance. Sweden’s overall support includes:
Economic support for life-saving assistance, early recovery and reconstruction:
- Approx. EUR 15 million in humanitarian support to people in Türkiye affected by the earthquakes
- Approx. EUR 14.1 million for reconstruction in Türkiye
- Approx. EUR 13.2 million in humanitarian support to people in Syria affected by the earthquakes
- Approx. EUR 2.7 million in unearmarked support to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ earthquake response
Material support totalling approximately EUR 4.7 million:
- A 45-strong search and rescue team with search dogs, and experts (construction engineers, IT experts and logistics specialists)
- 1 300 family tents and beds, mattresses, food, generators and other tents
- 500 relief housing units
- 350 pallets carrying medical supplies
- Air transport of equipment and personnel
As holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Sweden activated the EU’s Integrated Political Crisis Response mechanism to coordinate the Member States’ support. Together with the European Commission, the Swedish Presidency also organised a donors’ conference in Brussels on 20 March 2023 in support of the people affected by the earthquakes. Pledges made at the conference totalled around approximately EUR 7 billion.
Core support and continued support
In addition to the specific support it has given in response to the earthquakes, Sweden is one of the world’s largest humanitarian donors, providing substantial core support to the UN and the Red Cross movement. Core support is critical for humanitarian organisations to have the capacity and readiness to act quickly in emergency situations such as this, effectively prioritise resources where needs are greatest and help people in need without waiting for additional funding from donors.
Sweden’s relief efforts in Türkiye are long-term and continuously meet support needs as they arise. In addition, Sweden remains a major donor to the protracted humanitarian crisis in Syria. The Government continues to closely monitor developments and stands ready to further support those suffering and in need in Türkiye and Syria.