Save the Children stands ready to respond to the devastating earthquake that hit parts of Albania, in which at least two children have died and many more were injured. According to the latest numbers, 15 people lost their lives, more than 600 were wounded and some 157 buildings collapsed.
Anila Meco, Save the Children country director in Albania, said:
This is a terrible shock to the affected families and the whole country, and we fear the numbers of dead and injured might still rise. In circumstances like these, children are extremely vulnerable. All of a sudden, their homes are destroyed, maybe they've lost family members or friends, they've seen their possessions lost.\ "Children may not always understand what has happened, and these events can potentially be traumatizing experiences for them. We're calling on the government to pay extra attention to the safety of children in the aftermath of this disaster: they need to be kept safe in child friendly shelters, and they need places where they can play and recuperate.\ "What is needed most urgently now are tents, beds and blankets for the affected children and their families. Their houses and apartments have collapsed or were damaged, so they need appropriate places to stay, especially with the winter setting in. Some have lost everything, so they'll likely need support with furniture and cooking supplies. We are in touch with local authorities to assess the needs of children and are ready to support."
Note to editors:\ In Albania, Save the Children's humanitarian work focusses on reducing the impact of disasters for children and their communities and developing plans of action that ensure effective responses in coordination with other agencies. During emergencies, Save the Children responds to work closely with affected communities by providing food and other essential items and setting up safe places for children to play and learn.