Tirana, February 2020
Summary of Disaster Context
Albania, located on the Balkan Peninsula in South and Southeast Europe, has a population of 2.9 million people. With a total area of 28,748 square kilometres, the country is divided into 12 administrative regions which are further divided into 61 municipalities. The country’s economy has grown remarkably in the past three decades, moving Albania into a middle-income country status and increasing its Human Development Index from 0.72 to 0.79 over the past ten years.
According to the Albanian Institute of Geophysics, Water and Energy on 26th November 2019 at 03:54, a devastating earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale at a depth of 38 km, hit the country. The epicentre was 22 km from Durres and 30 km from Tirana, where most of the major historically recorded earthquakes have occurred, in the convergent boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Adriatic Plate.
As a result of the disaster, a total of 202,291 people were affected in the country, 47,263 directly, and 155,029 indirectly. The earthquake caused 51 fatalities and injured at least 913 people. Moreover, up to 17,000 people were displaced due to the loss of their homes. Overall, first responders rescued 48 people from collapsed houses.
The earthquake has been described by the national authorities as the strongest to hit Albania in 30 years. It caused extensive damage in 11 municipalities, including the two most populous, urbanized and developed municipalities (Tirana and Durres). The worst affected municipalities were: Shijak, Durres, Kruja, Tirana, Kamza, Kavaja, Kurbin, and Lezha.
On 6th December, the Government of Albania requested support from the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Bank to undertake a full and comprehensive Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to identify the damage, losses, and recovery needs arising from the earthquake. The tripartite partners provided financial and technical support to conduct the assessment in addition to the resources the government made available. The assessment process started on 16th December 2019 and was completed by 30th January 2020, lasting almost seven weeks. The Albanian Prime Minister nominated Mrs. Milva Ekonomi as the national coordinator for the PDNA. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was designated as the focal agency for the PDNA process.
Summary of PDNA Methodology
The assessment methodology involved the collection of available secondary data and primary information from various government and private sources, which were vetted, and where possible, verified on the ground through field visits. In addition, different structured surveys were conducted: a building ascertainment, a business survey, a livelihood survey - addressed to displaced people in hotels and tents – and a household survey to the affected population, referred to as the Survey on Household Damages due to the Earthquake (SHDE). The PDNA collected the estimation of effects – damages and losses – of the disaster. The damages and losses sometimes differ substantially between the sectors, due to the specificity of their corresponding calculations. Their impact on macro-economic and human development level was also analyzed. Lastly, estimations of the financial requirements needed to undertake the reconstruction and recovery were done. The terms of the implementation of the recovery plan are as follows: short term (2020), medium term (2021, 2022) and long term (2023 and 2024). For more information on the methodological approach, please refer to Annex 5.1.
The most affected municipalities, which were agreed on by the Government for the PDNA process, are: Shijak, Durres, Kruja, Tirana, Kamza, Kavaja, Vora, Kavaja, Rrogozhina, Kurbin, and Mirdita . The following sectors were assessed during this process: health, education, housing, productive (comprising: tourism, business, cultural heritages and agriculture sub-sectors) and infrastructure (including the sub-sectors of community infrastructures, energy, transport, communication, water and sanitation and public buildings owned by the government of Albania).
Below is a summary of the key findings of the PDNA, presented by sector.
Education: Damages were reported to 321 educational institutions in the 11 affected municipalities, representing 24% of all educational establishments. The municipalities of Tirana and Durres have the highest share of damage, with 55% and 21%, respectively. The total value of damage and losses in the education sector is estimated at 72.35 million EUR (8.9 billion ALL) . Of this, the value of damage is 63.59 million EUR (7.8 billion ALL), while the losses are 8.76 million EUR (1.1 billion ALL). The total needs for reconstruction and recovery are estimated to be 94.83 million EUR (11.67 billion ALL).
Health: 36 health facilities (8% of total in 11 Municipalities) were partially or fully damaged, where 22 are primary health care facilities. There were damages to three regional hospitals, nine university hospitals (units), two municipal hospitals, ten health centres, and 12 health posts. The total effects are estimated at 9.93 million EUR (1.22 billion ALL). The reported losses amount to 1.91 million EUR (235.03 million ALL) and are mainly linked to the free medical services during the emergency period. The recovery that considers the rehabilitation of partially or severely damaged facilities, as well as risk reduction and resilience measures is estimated at 14.54 million EUR.
Housing: A total of 11,490 housing units were categorised as fully destroyed or demolished and need to be rebuilt. An additional 83,745 of housing units were either partially or lightly damaged, needing repair and refitting. Overall 18% of total housing units have been affected. The total effects are valued at 696.3 million EUR (85.68 billion ALL), whereas recovery and reconstruction are estimated at 803 million EUR (99.301 million ALL) over the short, medium and long term.
Infrastructure: Of the total damage and loss in this sector, which amounts to 33.42 million EUR (4.11 billion ALL), one-third was in the municipality of Durres. Government buildings and community infrastructure were particularly affected. There was damage to two river embankments, 50 gabion baskets, one dam, 42 municipal buildings, one prison, and 33 office buildings. The total losses of all sub-sectors amount to 3.01 million EUR (370.4 million ALL). The overall needs for reconstruction and recovery were estimated at 60.99 million EUR (7.5 billion ALL).
Productive: The total effects estimated for the sector are 150.48 million EUR. The Tourism sub-sector sustained the most damage and losses with 90.24 million EUR (11.1 billion ALL), the majority of which is due to losses from an expected decline in foreign visitors between 2020 and 2022. The Business & Employment sub-sector is the second most affected with 53 million EUR (6.5 billion ALL) in damage and losses, most of it on account of the damage sustained by 714 businesses in manufacturing and trade. In the Cultural Heritage sub-sector, two national museums and three local museums were classified as insecure and are still closed to the public, while an additional 23 monuments and sites were classified as high risk and another 30 monuments as medium risk. Damages in the Agriculture sub-sector were minor and relate to agricultural inputs and equipment. There was also damage to embankments and water drainage stations in Durres and Lezha, as well as to the Institute for Food Safety and Veterinary building. The recovery needs in this sector amount to 51.83 million EUR (6.4 billion ALL), over half is in the Business and Employment sub-sector with 27.84 million EUR (3.4 billion ALL), followed by tourism with 10.88 million EUR (1.3 billion ALL).
Social Protection damages are not reported under this sector, as it is included either under community infrastructure or public buildings in the Infrastructure sector. Losses mainly refer to governance, coordination, and disaster management as well as referrals, psycho-social counselling and social care services that are estimated at 623.5 thousand EUR (76.7 million ALL), whereby 1/3 are public and 2/3 are private. The total needs of the sector are estimated at 2.83 million EUR (348.2 million ALL).
Civil Protection and Disaster Risk Reduction: 57 buildings from the Ministry of Defence were damaged, one firefighting station had to be demolished, two buildings of the Albanian Geological Survey were partially damaged, eight monitoring stations from the Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment (IGEWE) were slightly damaged, six buildings from the General Directorate of State Reserves were slightly damaged as well, and seven additional buildings were damaged beyond repair. The damages were estimated at 8.75 million EUR (1,076 million ALL) and 13.21 million EUR (1,625 million ALL) for losses. The total needs for the sector reconstruction and recovery were estimated at 48.25 million EUR (5.9 billion ALL).