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EBRD launches support for earthquake-hit SMEs in Türkiye

By Dilara Sarı

  • EBRD programme to support earthquake-hit SMEs
  • Bank expands its advisory support to SMEs to include reconstruction grants
  • Support package aimed at kick-starting growth and building back better

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching its Reconstruction Assistance and Grant programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the earthquake-impacted region in Türkiye.

A significant number of small businesses are still struggling in the aftermath of the disaster that hit the country’s south-east, with so many still unable to resume their operations. 

The programme aims to help businesses reconstruct damaged buildings, production assets and infrastructure. The EBRD will provide each business with a grant that covers 85 per cent of the reconstruction and repair costs, for a maximum of €60,000.

As part of the grant support package, SMEs will also have access to advisory services channelled through the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme. This will allow the SMEs to better assess their damage and reconstruction needs, while helping them identify opportunities for growth and improved efficiency, according to the principle of “building back better”.

The programme is receiving financial support from the Ministry of Finance of Japan and will be implemented in the Turkish cities of Adıyaman, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Malatya, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Elazığ and Adana.

The Reconstruction Assistance and Grant programme follows the Bank’s €1.5 billion investment plan for the region over the next two years, which was set up to lessen the economic impact of the disaster, and includes the €600 million Disaster Response Framework; this is the first such framework deployed in the EBRD regions and supports affected companies and individuals, as well as providing new lending for companies participating in recovery and reconstruction efforts in the area.  

Arvid Tuerkner, the EBRD’s Managing Director for Türkiye, said: “Our visit to the region showed us very clearly that the earthquake had had a devastating impact on small businesses, leaving them grappling with significant financial losses and operational disruptions, infrastructure damage, financial strain and broader economic uncertainty. We are proud to launch the Reconstruction Assistance and Grant programme today, which will provide critical support to the SME sector, the backbone of the Turkish economy. Through the reconstruction grants, our new SME programme will not only help small businesses resume their operations, but through integrated advisory support will also foster a more sustainable reconstruction and robust recovery.”

The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Türkiye, having invested more than €18 billion in the country since 2009, mainly in the private sector.

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