Earthquakes have been known to leave behind devastating aftermaths, with millions of tons of debris being generated in their wake. Recently, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) released initial estimates indicating that 116 to 210 million tons of debris were formed due to earthquakes. In the Gölcük earthquake alone, approximately 13 million tons of debris were created.
What Does UNDP Do in Earthquake Zones?
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a UN agency that aims to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development worldwide. Its primary focus is on supporting countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing technical assistance, policy advice, and financial resources to governments and local communities.
UNDP works on a broad range of issues, including poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, climate change, and gender equality. It operates in more than 170 countries and territories, supporting countries in their efforts to build resilience and achieve sustainable development.
Specifically, the UNDP works to:
- Promote sustainable development and poverty reduction
- Build democratic governance and rule of law
- Prevent and recover from crises and conflict
- Conserve biodiversity and protect the environment
- Empower women and promote gender equality
- Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth
Overall, the UNDP works to create a better world by advancing sustainable development and empowering people to build better lives for themselves and their communities.
Urgent Aid Call For Türkiye
To support the efforts in clearing debris caused by earthquakes in Türkiye, the UNDP announced that it will be contributing the majority of the $113.5 million fund requested as part of the $1 billion “urgent aid call” for Türkiye, which was announced by the United Nations on February 16. The UNDP will utilize these funds for debris removal activities, prioritizing environmentally-friendly debris management approaches that will support the government’s actions. Rather than simply removing and dumping the rubble, the plan is to recycle the raw materials contained in the debris.
Job Opportunities Are Born
To facilitate the debris removal process, the UNDP will also be creating job opportunities for local residents to remove and process the debris. The UNDP Türkiye Resident Representative, Louisa Vinton, stated that the organization is focusing on early recovery efforts to support both emergency response and long-term works needed to return life to normal in the region. While clearing the debris is an essential first step, it is equally important to respect the lives and dreams buried under the rubble.
Apart from contributing to emergency response teams, the UNDP also delivered 160 770-liter garbage containers, 54 tons of slaked lime, and 10 thousand liters of disinfectant to Hatay Metropolitan Municipality to support the debris removal efforts.
The UNDP’s environmentally-friendly solution to the massive debris caused by earthquakes in Türkiye not only supports the government’s actions but also creates job opportunities for local residents while ensuring that the environment is preserved. With the UNDP’s efforts, it is hoped that debris removal and management will be conducted efficiently, and life can soon return to normal for the people in the affected areas.
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