EU to host donors’ conference for Albania’s recovery

Earthquake
© iStock/SteveCollender

The European Union is set to host an international donors’ conference to help with the reconstruction in Albania after an earthquake in late November 2019.

On 26 November 2019, an earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.4, hit Albania. The earthquake resulted in the destruction of both public and private infrastructure.

Around 1,000 people were injured in the earthquake, and about 14,000 people were temporarily displaced. Thousands of buildings were seriously damaged in the event, including schools and healthcare facilities.

The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism was activated at the request of the Albanian government after the earthquake. As a result, search and rescue teams were 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.

Now, the European Union will establish an international donors’ conference on 17 February in Brussels in order to support the reconstruction efforts in Albania after the earthquake that struck the country at the end of November, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced today.

“The EU is happy to announce that the donors’ conference for Albania will be on the 17 February. It’s a donors’ conference following the horrible earthquake in Albania.

“We want to help Albania in its reconstruction”, President von der Leyen said during the press conference at the end of the College of Commissioners meeting in Zagreb to mark the start of the Croatian Presidency of the EU.

The EU places high priority on the reconstruction and recovery of Albania and will help to coordinate an international response and to gather necessary financial support. The aim is also to help strengthen the capacity of Albania to prepare and handle disaster response.

The European Commission announced an initial €15 m grant for reconstruction of priority public buildings at its first meeting in December 2019.

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