Brussels, 17 February 2020

 

Presidents, Prime Ministers, dear guests,

 

Today is a crucial day for Albania. Today we will be showing our solidarity to Albania, an earthquake torn country.

 

On the Post Disaster Needs Assessment

We have heard the experts and our two international partners in this endeavor.

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment demonstrates that the recovery and reconstruction needs are high – almost € 1.1 billion – covering private houses of Albanian citizens, public buildings such as schools and health facilities, and businesses.

It is our commitment as EU, EU Member States, the region and the rest of the international community to support Albania in this reconstruction phase. Our presence here today is a clear sign of this commitment.

Through this international donors’ conference we have the opportunity to announce our support, help the Albanian institutions manage the impact of this earthquake, and build resilience to future natural disasters.

It is now key to ensure clear, efficient, inclusive and transparent financing mechanisms allowing accountability for the channeled funds. These mechanisms should create space for all donors to execute their pledge intentions in support of reconstruction that is resilient to hazards, sustainable, and prioritises the needs of the most vulnerable. 

To this end, the Government of Albania, the European Commission, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Council of Europe Development Bank have agreed on these principles to guide the reconstruction effort.

 

Pledging

 

As you have already heard from the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on behalf of the Commission, we are happy to announce € 100 million in grants from the EU budget, coming on top of € 15 million announced in December. Altogether the European Commission is pledging € 115 million in grant funding to help Albania.

 

And collectively, we have shown an enormous courage and solidarity with Albania today. We have joined our forces and I am very proud to announce that we have managed to gather to help Albania recover and reconstruct after the earthquake € 1.15 billion. Thank you so much! This is a common effort. I thank every participant, every donor who participated. This is very strong message to the Albanian people how much we care about Albania.

 

Prime Minister, I hope with this you will be able to set the wheels in motion and start implementation very fast, and change conditions on the grounds. We are there for you, also when it comes to the implementation.

 

Thank you very much!