Head of UNDP reaffirms support for post-earthquake recovery in Türkiye

March 29, 2024

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner recognizes Türkiye’s achievement in reaching 45th among 193 countries surveyed in development progress report 

Recognizing Türkiye as a development partner and an emerging development leader globally, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner noted Turkiye’s strong standing in a just-released UNDP global report on human development progress during a one-day visit to Türkiye. The visit aimed to discuss key development opportunities, present the latest Human Development Report for 2024 (HDR2024), and evaluate UNDP's ongoing support for social and economic recovery efforts following the devastating earthquakes that hit 11 provinces in southern Türkiye in February 2023.

In remarks to journalists during his visit to Istanbul, Mr. Steiner highlighted key points from the HDR2024. He recognized Türkiye's progress, noting that Türkiye is advancing in global rankings due to its investments in factors that improve human well-being beyond per capita income, such as life expectancy, education levels, and environmental impact. He emphasized Türkiye's consistent improvement in human well-being, contributing to its rise in the ranks over the years. In the Human Development Index (HDI), Türkiye ranks 45th among 193 countries. Based on 2022 data, Türkiye places in the “very high human development” category—the highest of four—for the fourth year in a row.  

“Türkiye is a country that has developed resilience in terms of both human capital and economic advancement,” said Mr. Steiner during an interview with TRT World. “Therefore, these shocks, including a tragic earthquake, did not throw the country off course.”

Mr. Steiner met with Mehmet Kemal Bozay, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, to assess the progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through collaborative efforts between UNDP and the Turkish Government. Additionally, acknowledging the efforts undertaken by Türkiye in the aftermath of the earthquakes, Mr. Steiner reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to supporting Türkiye in its recovery and reconstruction efforts, highlighting the importance of sustainable and inclusive development practices. He emphasized the significance of close cooperation with the Turkish Government and local partners to address the immediate needs of earthquake-affected communities while also promoting long-term sustainable development. 

Mr. Steiner also met with UNDP representatives from Europe and Central Asia to discuss the development future of the region, including topics such as conflicts, climate-related issues, natural disasters, food and energy crises, and more. 

Mr. Steiner was accompanied during the visit by Ivana Živković, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations, and Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia at UNDP.

For more than 60 years, UNDP has closely partnered with the Turkish Government and numerous national and international institutions, including NGOs, academics and the business community. UNDP contributes to the Turkish Government’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. It supports Türkiye on the three components of the development agenda, namely inclusive and sustainable growth, inclusive and democratic governance, and climate change and environment.

In addition, UNDP has played a major role in response to crises and disasters in Türkiye and the surrounding region. Following the February earthquakes in 2023, UNDP has channeled all its resources into the earthquake response, prioritizing socio-economic recovery and a return to normalcy for affected communities. Providing much-needed support to government agencies, municipalities and local NGOs in the hardest-hit Turkish provinces, UNDP has helped revive livelihoods and business activity, restore care services for vulnerable groups, improve waste and debris management, and protect endangered cultural heritage. 

For further details on UNDP's earthquake recovery initiatives over the past year, please visit here

Achim Steiner   

Achim Steiner leads the work and country offices of UNDP in 170 countries and territories across the world since April 2017. He also chairs the UN Development Group, which unites 32 UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies and other bodies that work to support sustainable development.

Bringing more than three decades of leadership experience in global development issues and international cooperation, Mr. Steiner is a passionate advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals and the need for unprecedented global cooperation to deliver on this ambitious agenda.

Prior to joining UNDP, Mr. Steiner served in roles across the UN, non-government organizations and high-level advisory bodies shaping public policy. This included tenures as United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; as Director-General of the UN Office at Nairobi and as Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.