ILO calls for urgent support for workers in Türkiye and Syria due to earthquakes

The ILO has published a report on the effects of the disaster on the labor market. Accordingly, hundreds of thousands of workers lost their livelihoods in Turkey and Syria due to devastating earthquakes.

According to preliminary data on Turkey, 658 thousand employees lost their livelihoods due to the earthquake, and more than 150 thousand workplaces became unusable.

According to the ILO’s estimates, each affected worker loses an average of more than $230 a month if they are unable to find work. Due to this crisis, a monthly labor income loss of around 150 million dollars occurred in the earthquake region.

While more than 4 million workers lived in the earthquake-affected provinces in Turkey, the majority of them were working in agriculture, manufacturing industry, trade or other low value-added services.

It is stated that the loss of working hours is 58.8 percent in Malatya, 48.1 percent in Adıyaman and 45.2 percent in Hatay.

In addition to job losses for Turkey, the ILO also warned that risks to occupational health and safety and child labor may have increased.

170,000 workers lost their jobs in Syria

In Syria, about 170,000 employees lost their jobs due to the earthquake, under the conditions of the economy and labor market, which had already suffered great damage due to the 12-year civil war. While this loss directly affected 154 thousand households and more than 725 thousand people, around 35 thousand micro, small and medium-sized enterprises were also damaged.

This temporary loss of employment in Syria results in a loss of labor income equivalent to at least $5.7 million per month.

42.4 percent of the country’s population lives in Aleppo, Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Tartus, which are the five worst hit provinces of Syria.

Of the 7.1 million people of working age (age 16 or older) in this population, 2.7 million were employed, either formally or informally, of whom 22.8 percent were women.

“People can only begin to build their lives if their livelihoods can be rebuilt”

ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo, whose views are included in the report, stated that the most important element of a successful and inclusive response to this disaster is to support employment.

Houngbo said, “People can only begin to rebuild their lives if and only if their livelihoods can be rebuilt. We have to show those who suffered tremendous losses in the earthquake that social justice and decent work are at the heart of the recovery and rebuilding process.” made its assessment.

It is stated that urgent and exclusive support should be given to the employees in Turkey and Syria, and in the absence of this, poverty, informality and child labor are expected to increase.

Workers and businesses need urgent help to rebuild livelihoods and prevent poverty, informality and exploitation.

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