Turkish Businesses Created the World's Largest Network Against Disasters and Emergencies

November 21, 2018

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED) introduces the international platform “Connecting Business initiative (CBi)” to Turkey to strengthen businesses against natural disasters and complex emergencies including particularly earthquakes, fires, floods and refugee crises.

Officially launched with the signature ceremony in Hatay on 16-17 November, CBi Turkey will work to enable businesses to limit the damages of disasters and complex emergencies, and recover speedily in the aftermath.

The Connecting Business initiative (CBi), launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016, aims to transform the way the private sector engages “before, during and after” emergencies, increasing the scale and effectiveness of the response in a coordinated manner.

Supported worldwide in 13 countries including Turkey and jointly operated by UNDP-OCHA, CBi platforms constitute a solidarity platform between international crises management structures and local and national networks. The newly established network in Turkey will be jointly managed by TURKONFED and UNDP Turkey.

CBi Turkey will work to enhance the private sector capacity for “risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery” in disasters and crises, and increase its engagement in such processes. The initial objective is to outreach businesses affiliated with federations under TURKONFED that has a broad nationwide network.

Many companies in Istanbul and Anatolia have in recent years been hit by such natural disasters as floods due to climate change. In addition to responding to natural disasters, CBi Turkey will also respond to migration and refugees, also called “human-induced crises”.

The outcomes of activities undertaken in cooperation by the public and private sectors and civil society are expected to add value to businesses, society, region and national economy.

The global economy lost 320 billion dollars to disasters and emergencies in 2017. Disasters mostly hit the poor and other vulnerable groups. In the past 30 years, more than 2.5 million lives and nearly 4 trillion dollars were lost due to such complex emergencies as earthquakes, cyclones, floods and armed conflicts. The private sector was also deeply hit.

Economic losses suffered by the entire range of businesses from big multinationals to SMEs due to disasters and emergencies increasingly threaten business continuity and sustainability.

The private sector can have a critical role in saving lives and property, in speedy recovery of national economies from shocks, and help prevent potential market failures due to emergencies.

CBi Turkey Platform aims to develop a suite of solutions to strengthen the resilience of the Turkish sector against disasters and emergencies.

CBi will serve as a platform operating to protect the Turkish private sector’s own businesses and employees against disasters and emergencies. Through CBi Turkey’s work, businesses will help strengthen their local communities, speedily recover in the aftermath of a disaster or emergency, and resume contributing to local economies.

CBi Turkey will work to identify the needs and capacity of the private sector and strengthen businesses against disasters and emergencies, enhance knowledge-sharing, make businesses more resilient, increase the private sector contributions to disaster-hit areas. The signature ceremony for CBi Turkey in Hatay was honoured by Mr. Orhan Turan, TURKONFED President; Ms. Irena Vojáčková Sollorano, United Nation Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey; and Mr. Claudio Tomasi, UNDP Turkey Country Director.