The European Union to host an international donors’ conference on 17 February in Brussels to support the reconstruction efforts in Albania after the earthquake that struck the country at the end of November.
The EU, its Member States, the Western Balkan partners, and representatives from other countries, as well as from the international organisations and the international financial institutions, including the UN and the World Bank, are due to participate.
The International Donors’ Conference “Together for Albania” will start at 14.30. The President of the European Commission Ms Ursula von der Leyen will chair the conference in the presence of H.E. Mr Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania. A presentation of the post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) will precede the opening of the pledging session. The event will be followed by a press conference.
On 26 November 2019, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 hit Albania, causing destruction of public and private infrastructure, hitting thousands of households and resulting in 51 fatalities, about 1,000 injured, and about 14,000 people temporarily displaced. Thousands of buildings have been seriously damaged, including schools and health care facilities.
The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism was activated at the request of the Albanian government after the earthquake and as a result, search and rescue teams were immediately deployed to Albania. In-kind assistance and structural engineers were mobilised through the mechanism as well as bilaterally by EU Member States and partners from the region. EU Civil Protection Team was in Albania from 27 November to 20 December and coordinated the international response.
The Commission announced an initial €15 million grant for reconstruction of priority public buildings at its first meeting in December.
The European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank and the Government of Albania carried out a post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA). The needs assessment report is as a key guiding tool for the donors’ conference and will serve as a basis for the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts./ibna