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World Bank And Turkey Sign Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation And Emergency Preparedness Loan Agreement

Available in: Türkçe
Press Release No:2006/120/ECA


In Ankara
¾Tunya Celasin, (90-312) 459 83 43

In Washington: Miriam Van Dyck: (202) 458-2931

Ankara, October 18, 2005— The World Bank and the Turkish Government signed today a Euro 310.00 million (US$400.00 million equivalent) Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (ISMEP) Loan Agreement for Turkey.

Andrew Vorkink, Country Director for Turkey of the World Bank, signed the Agreement with a representative of the Undersecretariat of Treasury on behalf of the Turkish Government, in the presence of the Governor of Istanbul, Mr. Muammer Güler.

The Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness (ISMEP) project’s main objective is to transform Istanbul in the next 10-20 years into a city more resilient to a major earthquake.  The overall goal of the project is to save lives and reduce the social, economic and financial impacts in the event of a major earthquake in the Istanbul Region.  The specific objective of the project is to improve the city of Istanbul’s preparedness for a potential earthquake through enhancing the institutional and technical capacity for disaster management and emergency response, strengthening critical public facilities for earthquake resistance, and supporting measures for better enforcement of building codes and land use plans. The Istanbul Special Provincial Administration will be the responsible agency on behalf of the Republic of Turkey.

In today's world, where the Marmara 1999 earthquake which killed 17,000 and affected Turkey's economy by 2.5 % of GNP, the 2004 tsunami which killed more than 250,000 in Asia, Hurricane Katrina which is estimated to cost the US well more than $100 billion and more than 1000 lives, and last week's earthquake in South Asia which killed more than 30,000, emergency preparedness and hazard risk mitigation are essential roles of governments” said Andrew Vorkink, Country Director for Turkey. “The good news is that in Istanbul province, both the municipality and the governorship with the support of the central government, have   demonstrated a high level of commitment and ownership in earthquake mitigation efforts, and have initiated several valuable seismic risk assessment and planning activities” he continued.

Through the ISMEP projectmore will be achieved. Key public facilities will be retrofitted to resist a major earthquake; skills and technical capacities of the relevant emergency response units will be strengthened; and enforcement of building codes and land use plans will be improved. The Project will retrofit around 40 hospitals and 600 schools, and several clinics, dormitories, and administrative buildings. It will also demolish and rebuild a building if found to be too weak to be retrofitted. These steps are extremely important when lives of people are concerned. And the Bank is proud to partner with the Turkish Government to save lives through ISMEP“” he added on the occasion of the Loan signing ceremony.

The Project will compose of the following components:

Component A: Enhancing Emergency Preparedness

This component will enhance the effectiveness and capacity of the provincial and municipal public safety organizations in Istanbul to prepare for, respond to and recover from significant emergencies, especially those arising from earthquakes.


Component B:  Seismic Risk Mitigation for Public Facilities

This component will reduce the risk of future earthquake damage to critical facilities in order to save lives and ensure their continued functioning in the event of an earthquake, through retrofitting of hospitals, schools and other priority public facilities.


Component C:  Enforcement of Building Codes

This component will support innovative approaches to better enforcement of building code and compliance with land use plans.


Component D: Project Management

This component will support the Istanbul Provincial Administration to implement the project in efficient and transparent manner, and build the institutional capacity to sustain the implementation of Seismic Risk Mitigation and Preparedness program beyond the life of the project. 

The p
roposed terms of the Loan is Variable-Spread Single Currency Loan denominated in EURO. The lending instrument ISMEP project is the World Bank’s Specific Investment Loan (SIL) with a 17-year maturity, including a 4-year grace period. Specific investment loans (SILs) support the creation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of economic, social, and institutional infrastructure.  In addition, SILs may finance consultant services and management and training programs.

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