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Albania earthquake: European Union, United Nations and World Bank jointly support Government to assess needs, develop recovery plan

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Albania earthquake: European Union, United Nations and World Bank jointly support Government to assess needs, develop recovery plan

A full-scale Post Disaster Needs Assessment is underway

Tirana, 24 December 2019 : Upon the request of the Government of Albania, the European Union, United Nations and World Bank have jointly embarked into carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the effects, impacts and needs arising from the earthquake of 26 November. The disaster cost Albania the lives of 51 people and left at least 14,000 inhabitants without homes. Hundreds of buildings have experienced serious damage.

The key objective of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is to assist the Government of Albania to assess the impact of the earthquake and to define a recovery strategy including estimating its financial costs.

Minister Bledi Çuçi, at the first meeting on coordinating PDNA said ”The Government of Albania reacted very quickly on the response and relief, but from the other side it’s fortunate to have the support of the European Union, United Nations and the World Bank, that are providing the required technical and financial support to conduct the PDNA”

Government coordinator of the PDNA, MP Milva Ekonomi said “the PDNA will help us collectively understand the full scope of impact of the earthquake – from residential building damage to tourism impact and all things in between – and put together a credible, comprehensive recovery plan that our friends and partners can help us invest in.”

Under national leadership, the assessment will estimate the overall multi-sectoral impact of the earthquake on the socio-economic development of affected districts and on a wider national level and will propose a Recovery Strategy with estimated costs and a timeline.

Specialized teams - with both international and national experts - have already started working together with Government officials since 16 December to agree on data collection methodologies. They are currently assessing the impact on the sectors of health, education, housing, tourism and employment, community infrastructure. Cross-cutting sectors of macroeconomy and poverty, social protection and civil protection as well as disaster risk reduction are carefully being looked at.

"The EU stood by Albania since day one following the earthquake with compassion and action. We are leading the Post Disaster Needs Assessment in collaboration with our international partners, which will be the basis of the EU-led donor conference that will take place in early 2020," said the EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca.

“The UN through many of its agencies – especially UNDP, UNICEF and WHO, including specialized agencies like UNESCO, FAO and the World Tourism Organization – is contributing to this rapid assessment to help Albania recover quickly. Building Albania’s institutional capacities to reduce risk and improve future disaster response should be a priority,” said UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, Brian J. Williams.

“The World Bank is working closely with the Albanian Government, EU, and UN as part of the PDNA team”, said Maryam Salim, the World Bank Country Manager for Albania. “The World Bank has prepared a rapid assessment of the situation using the Global Rapid post disaster Damage Estimation (GRADE) methodology, with support from the EU, which provides initial estimates of economic damages across sectors and their spatial distribution and will feed into the PDNA. We expect that the PDNA will produce a wealth of data and an analysis of damages and recommend recovery actions“.

The PDNA will conclude with a comprehensive report including a recovery strategy to be presented by the Government in the Donor Conference to take place in early 2020.

Media contact

EU Communications Officer: Dasara Dizdari-Zeneli

UN Communications Officer: Guri Daco

WB Communications Officer: Ana Gjokutaj