Turkey ranks third in the world in terms of earthquake-related casualties and eighth with regard to the total number of people affected. Every year, the country experiences at least one 5 magnitude earthquake – which renders the proper management and coordination of disasters absolutely crucial.

Turkey's disaster policy dates back to the aftermath of the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, which claimed nearly 33.000 lives and left at least 100.000 injured. Two decades later, the Turkish Parliament adopted the Law on Precautions to be Taken due to Disaster Affecting Public Life and Assistance to be Provided (No.7269) in order to fill the long-existing legal void. The legislative effort on disaster continued with the 1988 by-law on the Principles of the Organization and Planning of Emergency Assistance Regarding Disasters.

The 1999 Marmara earthquake, however, marked the turning point in the area of disaster management and coordination. This devastating disaster clearly demonstrated the need to reform disaster management and compelled the country to establish a single government institution to single-handedly coordinate and exercise legal authority in cases of disaster and emergencies. In line with this approach, the Turkish Parliament passed Law No.5902 in 2009 to form the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) under the Prime Ministry and abolish various agencies under whose jurisdiction the issue previously fell. Turkey adopted a presidential system of governance after a referendum that took place on April 16, 2017. And the new executive presidential system entered into force with the June 24 elections. Presidential Decree No. 4 which was published in the Official Gazette on July 15, 2018 and the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (previously an agency under the office of Prime Ministry) re-formed as an agency under the Ministry of Interior.

Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, an institution working to prevent disasters and minimize disaster-related damages, plan and coordinate post-disaster response, and promote cooperation among various government agencies.

In this regard, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority introduced a novel disaster management model which prioritizes Turkey's transition from crisis management to risk management – which came to be known as the Integrated Disaster Management System.

AFAD currently has 81 provincial branches across Turkey in addition to 11 search and rescue units.

Notwithstanding its position as the sole authority on disasters and emergencies, AFAD cooperates with a range of government institutions and non-governmental organizations depending on the nature and severity of individual cases.

Over the past seven years, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority successfully coordinated to Turkey's response to a number of devastating earthquakes and floods, among others, and helped survivors get their lives back on track. At the international level, AFAD completed successful missions to provide humanitarian assistance to over 50 countries in 5 continents including Somalia, Palestine, Ecuador, Philippines, Nepal, Yemen, Mozambique, Chad and many others.

According to the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2018 that contains global data for the year 2017, Turkey was the first country in humanitarian aid with 8.07 billion US Dollars. Turkey has preserved her leading position with a 0.85 % ratio between its national income and humanitarian assistance, as the “most generous nation” in the world.

AFAD remains committed to developing necessary strategies and serving people in need at home and abroad.


  1. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 was adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, held from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan, which represented a unique opportunity for countries:

(a) To adopt a concise, focused, forward-looking and action-oriented post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction;

(b) To complete the assessment and review of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters;

(c) To consider the experience gained through the regional and national strategies/ institutions and plans for disaster risk reduction and their recommendations, as well as relevant regional agreements for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action;

(d) To identify modalities of cooperation based on commitments to implement a post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction;

(e) To determine modalities for the periodic review of the implementation of a post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

  1. During the World Conference, States also reiterated their commitment to address disaster risk reduction and the building of resilience to disasters with a renewed sense of urgency within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and to integrate, as appropriate, both disaster risk reduction and the building of resilience into policies, plans, programmes and budgets at all levels and to consider both within relevant frameworks.

Hyogo Framework for Action: lessons learned, gaps identified and future challenges

  1. Since the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action in 2005, as documented in national and regional progress reports on its implementation as well as in other global reports, progress has been achieved in reducing disaster risk at local, national, regional and global levels by countries and other relevant stakeholders, leading to a decrease in mortality in the case of some hazards. Reducing disaster risk is a cost-effective investment in preventing future losses. Effective disaster risk management contributes to sustainable development. Countries have enhanced their capacities in disaster risk management. International mechanisms for strategic advice, coordination and partnership development for disaster risk reduction, such as the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and the regional platforms for disaster risk reduction, as well as other relevant international and regional forums for cooperation, have been instrumental in the development of policies and strategies and the advancement of knowledge and mutual learning. Overall, the Hyogo Framework for Action has been an important instrument for raising public and institutional awareness, generating political commitment and focusing and catalysing actions by a wide range of stakeholders at all levels.
  2. Over the same 10 year time frame, however, disasters have continued to exact a heavy toll and, as a result, the well-being and safety of persons, communities and countries as a whole have been affected. Over 700 thousand people have lost their lives, over 1.4 million have been injured and approximately 23 million have been made homeless as a result of disasters. Overall, more than 1.5 billion people have been affected by disasters in various ways, with women, children and people in vulnerable situations disproportionately affected. The total economic loss was more than $1.3 trillion. In addition, between 2008 and 2012, 144 million people were displaced by disasters. Disasters, many of which are exacerbated by climate change and which are increasing in frequency and intensity, significantly impede progress towards sustainable development. Evidence indicates that exposure of persons and assets in all countries has increased faster than vulnerability4 has decreased, thus generating new risks and a steady rise in disasterrelated losses, with a significant economic, social, health, cultural and environmental impact in the short, medium and long term, especially at the local and community levels. Recurring small-scale disasters and slow-onset disasters particularly affect communities, households and small and medium-sized enterprises, constituting a high percentage of all losses. All countries – especially developing countries, where the mortality and economic losses from disasters are disproportionately higher – are faced with increasing levels of possible hidden costs and challenges in order to meet financial and other obligations.
  3. It is urgent and critical to anticipate, plan for and reduce disaster risk in order to more effectively protect persons, communities and countries, their livelihoods, health, cultural heritage, socioeconomic assets and ecosystems, and thus strengthen their resilience.
  4. Enhanced work to reduce exposure and vulnerability, thus preventing the creation of new disaster risks, and accountability for disaster risk creation are needed at all levels. More dedicated action needs to be focused on tackling underlying disaster risk drivers, such as the consequences of poverty and inequality, climate change and variability, unplanned and rapid urbanization, poor land management and compounding factors such as demographic change, weak institutional arrangements, non-risk-informed policies, lack of regulation and incentives for private disaster risk reduction investment, complex supply chains, limited availability of technology, unsustainable uses of natural resources, declining ecosystems, pandemics and epidemics. Moreover, it is necessary to continue strengthening good governance in disaster risk reduction strategies at the national, regional and global levels and improving preparedness and national coordination for disaster response, rehabilitation and reconstruction, and to use post-disaster recovery and reconstruction to “Build Back Better”, supported by strengthened modalities of international cooperation.
  5. There has to be a broader and a more people-centred preventive approach to disaster risk. Disaster risk reduction practices need to be multi-hazard and multisectoral, inclusive and accessible in order to be efficient and effective. While recognizing their leading, regulatory and coordination role, Governments should engage with relevant stakeholders, including women, children and youth, persons with disabilities, poor people, migrants, indigenous peoples, volunteers, the community of practitioners and older persons in the design and implementation of policies, plans and standards. There is a need for the public and private sectors and çivil society organizations, as well as academia and scientific and research institutions, to work more closely together and to create opportunities for collaboration, and for businesses to integrate disaster risk into their management practices.
  6. 8. International, regional, subregional and transboundary cooperation remains pivotal in supporting the efforts of States, their national and local authorities, as well as communities and businesses, to reduce disaster risk. Existing mechanisms may require strengthening in order to provide effective support and achieve better implementation. Developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, small island developing States, landlocked developing countries and African countries, as well as middle-income countries facing specific challenges, need special attention and support to augment domestic resources and capabilities through bilateral and multilateral channels in order to ensure adequate, sustainable, and timely means of implementation in capacity-building, financial and technical assistance and technology transfer, in accordance with international commitments

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