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Case Study

Empowering Communities: Post-earthquake small business recovery in Hatay, Turkey

April 2024 — By Tenzin Manell, Kara Fink, Gersán Vásquez

On February 6, 2023, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake devastated Turkey and Syria, following by numerous aftershocks. The Turkish areas of Hatay, Adıyaman, Kahramanmaraş and Malatya were the hardest hit. Immense infrastructure damage—including roads, medical centers, and houses—over 108,000 injured persons, over 50,000 deaths, and displacement of around three million people altogether left communities devastated and in need of humanitarian assistance. Prior to the earthquakes, Turkey was already hosting approximately 3.5 million Syrian refugees, many of whom were displaced again. The economic cost of the earthquake was estimated at $104 billion USD with devastating effects on the labor market and businesses.

CORE swiftly responded, mobilizing within a week to assess and address critical needs across the affected region. Cash and Voucher Assistance are CORE’s preferred modalities of response, whenever context allows. CORE collaborated with the Turkey Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the Ministry of Family and Social Services, and two established local NGOs, YSYD and IHSAN Relief and Development (IHSAN). CORE and its partners responded with food vouchers, ready-to-eat meal kits, hygiene kits and kitchen sets, and implemented one of the first early recovery initiatives delivering business grants and training to small businesses in Hatay Province.

This learning brief focuses specifically on lessons pertaining to CORE’s small business recovery support to 58 business owners located in the Hassa business park, which was implemented from May 15 to September 30, 2023, and includes recommendations for scaling in this context.