International donors are today called to mobilize in favor of the residents in Turkey and the Syria affected by the devastating earthquake of February 6, which caused the death of more than 50,000 people and massive destruction.

The EU, in coordination with the Turkish authorities, is organizing a conference in Brussels with the aim of pooling resources and coordinating rescue and reconstruction operations.

According to a preliminary UN estimate, the cost of material damage alone in Turkey exceeds 100 billion dollars.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has appealed to raise more than $1 billion for Turkey and nearly $40 million for Syria.

So far only 16% of the funds requested for Turkey have been collected.

The non-governmental organization International Rescue Committee (IRC) called on donors to guarantee that these sums will be fully covered and that the resources will be able to reach “unhindered” the humanitarian organizations working on the ground.

The EU indicated that it intends to “make significant commitments” and called on its international partners to make “commitments commensurate with the damage that has occurred”.

The 7.8-magnitude quake, which was followed by an equally strong tremor nine hours later, killed nearly 48,500 people in Turkey, according to the latest official count. About 6,000 people have been killed in Syria.

Moreover, on Wednesday, floods occurred in the two Turkish provinces affected by the earthquake, as a result of which approximately 20 people lost their lives and intensified the suffering of the affected.

Assad and Moscow

The conference will start at 13:30 (local time, 14:30 Greece time) with speeches by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson – whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU – – as well as that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan via teleconference.

Conversely, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, against whom the West has imposed sanctions since 2011, will not participate in the conference.

Russia, a key ally of Damascus, has also been excluded from the conference because of its invasion of Ukraine.