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World Bank loans Turkey $265mn to improve earthquake resilience and energy efficiency of public buildings

The World Bank has approved a $265mn loan to Turkey for work required to strengthen public buildings against the effects of earthquakes, while also improving their energy efficiency.

The loan will be provided under the Seismic Resilience and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings Project, the international financial institution said.

The project aims to better insulate, strengthen, or reconstruct more than 140 schools, dormitories, hospitals and government buildings, directly benefiting around 26,000 people who live, work, or use these buildings, including schoolchildren and employees.

Women engineers will also be trained as part of the project, helping to boost the number of women in key technical roles, according to the World Bank statement. 

“The World Bank is pleased to support Turkey in its ambitious plans to make the country’s stock of buildings resilient to earthquake and a source of energy savings. While focused on public buildings, this project is an important step and its success is likely to spur similar transformations in the private sector, thus contributing to Turkey’s climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda,” said Auguste Kouame, World Bank country director for Turkey.  

In a press release, the World Bank said: "Energy efficiency is also critical for Turkey to sustain its economic growth while meeting its commitments for climate change and environmental sustainability. With the energy sector accounting for over 70 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming on the rise, thermal insulation and other green measures are critical for ensuring comfort of building occupants without increasing energy consumption. Investments in energy-efficient buildings can also reduce Turkey’s dependence on energy imports while reducing public expenditures on the energy costs of its more than 175,000 public building stock."

“Buildings with the greatest vulnerability to disasters are also energy inefficient. By combining structural strengthening of buildings with energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, this project will yield significant cost efficiencies while fostering long-term resilience and sustainability,” noted Alanna Simpson, one of the two World Bank project team leaders.

“The project will also result in much lower operating costs which the government can redeploy to make other improvements in the provision of public services,” added Jas Singh, the other World Bank team leader.