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Commissioner Lenarčič in Albania: EU steps up support following earthquake

"The EU is committed to providing further support as needed,” said Commissioner Lenarčič. © 2019 EU (photographer: Mrinë Godanca)

On his first field visit as Europe’s Emergency Response Coordinator, Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, is in Albania on 5 December to assess the damage after the earthquake which struck the country on 26 November.

This follows yesterday’s announcement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, of €15 million in EU funds to support the Albanian people following the devastating earthquake.

 “My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. The EU is providing tangible solidarity to the Albanian people at this difficult moment. I want to thank the many first responders, both from Albania and from across the EU, who have helped. The EU is committed to providing further support as needed,” said Commissioner Lenarčič.

Commissioner Lenarčič will meet Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama to discuss the ongoing EU emergency assistance. The Commissioner will also visit the European Civil Protection team in Durres, as well as Italian and Greek structural engineers, all deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism after the earthquake.

The EU has also allocated €300,000 in immediate emergency funding to provide vulnerable people with shelter, food and psychosocial support, channelled through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Background

The European Civil Protection team is working in close coordination with the EU Delegation in Tirana to coordinate the emergency response. The team includes experts from the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Two experts from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) are also seconded to the team.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism deployed 3 search and rescue teams from Greece, Italy, and Romania, and delivered generators, tents, sleeping bags and first aid kits from Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, and Austria. Sweden also offered tents, beds and mattresses.

In addition, the EU’s Copernicus emergency satellite mapping service has produced 6 satellite images of the affected zones to evaluate the intensity and scope of the damage resulting from the earthquake.

Publication date
05/12/2019