Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



European Commission mobilises €100 million for Albania after the earthquake at the end of 2019

The earthquake caused considerable damage (photo: PNUD)
The earthquake caused considerable damage (photo: PNUD)
ALBANIA. On Friday 17 July 2020, the European Commission adopted a €100 million package to "support the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of Albania following the earthquake of November 2019", as stated in a press release. The earthquake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale (the most powerful in this region since 1926) caused the death of fifty-one people. 5,000 inhabitants of the coastal town of Durrës (north-west of the capital Tirana) had been dislodged and the damage deemed considerable by the authorities with twenty-seven buildings collapsed.

On 17 February 2020, at the international donors' conference "Together for Albania", the European Commission pledged €115m. It consisted of two parts. The first was already announced in December 2019 in the framework of an agreement signed with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for €15 million for the urgent launch of operations on educational infrastructure with the rehabilitation and reconstruction of twenty-two schools.

The second €100 million will be used to continue this programme (also including the provision of furniture and equipment) "to enable children and young people to return to school in better conditions and with better facilities". It will also cover the rehabilitation of damaged cultural heritage sites, including monuments, museums, libraries and archaeological sites. "All construction will follow the 'Build Back Better' principle, applying sustainable building standards and reducing future risks, rebuilding stronger, safer and more disaster-resistant infrastructure and systems. This special measure will also improve energy efficiency," says the commission.

Frédéric Dubessy

Friday, July 17th 2020

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