The quake killed at least 50,000 people, including about 6,000 in Syria, according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands are still missing and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.
Syria’s northern province of Aleppo was the most severely hit region, accounting for 45 per cent of the total damages in Syria and amounting to about USD 2.3 billion in damages. Also badly hit was the rebel-held region in the northwest, home to some 4.6 million people, many of them previously displaced by Syria’s war.
Aleppo was followed by the northwestern province of Idlib, with estimated damages of USD 1.9 billion and Latakia, government-controlled territory on the coast, with USD 549 million.
The earthquake has also compounded myriad other troubles in Syria, where the nearly 12-year civil war has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.
The World Bank cautioned that there is still a significant degree of uncertainty around its preliminary assessment.
The disaster will cause a decline in economic activity that will further weigh on Syria’s growth prospects, said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank head for the Middle East.
The damages assessed in the report include both in the residential and nonresidential sectors, such as direct damages to buildings and structures, as well as damage to cultural heritage sites, which is especially challenging to qualify.
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