On 26 November 2019, an earthquake of magnitude 6.4 hit Albania, causing destruction of public and private infrastructure, hitting thousands of households and resulting in 51 fatalities, about 1,000 injured, and about 14,000 people temporarily displaced. Thousands of buildings have been seriously damaged, including schools and health care facilities.
The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism was activated at the request of the Albanian government after the earthquake and as a result, search and rescue teams were immediately deployed to Albania. In-kind assistance and structural engineers were mobilised through the mechanism as well as bilaterally by EU Member States and partners from the region. EU Civil Protection Team was in Albania from 27 November to 20 December and coordinated the international response.
The Commission announced an initial €15 million grant for reconstruction of priority public buildings at its first meeting in December. A post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) has been launched in mid-December 2019 by the EU, the United Nations and the World Bank and will be finalised ahead of the Conference. The PDNA is necessary for the organisation of the donors’ conference as it will serve as a basis for the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.