WASHINGTON June 20, 2019 — The safety of students, teachers and staff in selected schools in high-risk seismic zones in Turkey will be improved through the EUR 267.6 million Turkey Disaster Risk Management in Schools Project approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.
The project will complement the Government’s existing investment program focused on building resilience into education infrastructure and financing interventions targeting the most vulnerable schools in high risk seismic hazard zones in Turkey.
Since 2015, the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) has undertaken vulnerability assessments of around 4,700 priority schools. Preliminary results indicate that retrofitting or reconstruction is required in the majority of those schools. The project will provide funds to make 350 schools more resilient to seismic activity making it safer for 280, 000 staff and students.
“Turkey is vulnerable to the effects of earthquakes, landslides, and floods,” says Auguste Kouame, World Bank Country Director for Turkey. “The World Bank is very happy to be a part of the Government’s efforts to reduce the risk that students and teachers face from natural disasters. The project is part of a broader Government program and we hope it will encourage additional investments in construction of seismic resilient infrastructure in other parts of the country.”
The Construction and Real Estate Department (CRED) of MoNE is leading the project which also focuses on enhancing institutional and technical capacity for safer schools and project management including monitoring and learning.
In addition to increasing seismic safety of existing schools and facilitating expansion of quality learning environments, the project will serve to strengthen engineering and research capacity of CRED and support development of a forward-looking, risk-informed capital investment strategy to guide future investments to be channeled through the CRED. Communication and awareness raising activities will accompany structural interventions to increase support to school communities and to enhance disaster awareness and preparedness.
The project is aligned with Turkey’s Country Partnership Framework for FY18-FY21, which focuses on growth, inclusion, and sustainability.
The project will be rolled out over the next decade and is designed to show how investments in disaster risk reduction can help Governments tackle a range of development challenges varying from seismic safety and disaster preparedness and creating better learning environments.
The first phase is funded through an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Investment Project Financing instrument, with a 10.5-year repayment period, including a 5-year grace period.