The World Bank has approved a $265 million loan to Turkey to bolster the strength of public buildings against the threat of earthquakes, while also improving their energy efficiency.
The loan is provided under the Seismic Resilience and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings Project, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
The project aims to better insulate, strengthen, or reconstruct more than 140 schools, dormitories, hospitals, and government buildings, directly benefiting about 26,000 people who live, work, or use these buildings, including schoolchildren and employees, read the statement.
Women engineers will also be trained as part of the project, helping to boost the number of women in key technical roles, it said.
Turkey is one of the most exposed countries in the world to earthquakes, with 76 earthquakes since 1900 resulting in nearly 90,000 deaths, affecting more than 7 million people, and with direct losses exceeding $425 billion.
Generally, buildings that were built before the turn of the century are considered to face a higher risk of serious damage from an earthquake.
Auguste Kouame, World Bank country director for Turkey, said the project's success is likely to spur similar transformations in the private sector, thus contributing to Turkey’s climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda.
By Tuba Sahin