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Summary

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The international donors’ conference, “Together for Albania”, organised by the European Union, took place on 17 February in Brussels to support reconstruction efforts after the earthquake that struck Albania at the end of November.

The EU, its Member States, the Western Balkan partners, representatives from other countries, as well as from international organisations and international financial institutions, including the UN and the World Bank, were participating.

The conference was chaired by the President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen, in the presence of H.E. Mr Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania. A presentation of the post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) preceded the opening of the pledging session. The event was followed by a press conference.

Speeches and documents

Press statements

Please click the image below and follow the web-streaming of the conference 

On 26 November 2019, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 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.

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Post-disaster needs assessment

The European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank and the Government of Albania carried out a post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA). The needs assessment report is as a key guiding tool for the donors’ conference and will serve as a basis for the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

  • Volume A includes the executive summary, country context and initial response undertaken
  • Volume B includes the summary of the sectorial and sub-sectorial reports

Click here to read the report

Reconstruction projects financed by the EU and EU Member States

In May 2020, the EU launched the €75 million EU4Schools Programme, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 58 schools and kindergartens in all the 11 municipalities affected by the earthquake.

The €40 million EU4Culture programme started in September 2020. Implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the programme focuses on the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and enhancement of cultural sites damaged by the earthquake.

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the conference, EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca said: “From day one, the European Union has shown unparalleled solidarity with Albania and its citizens. We promised to help and we are now delivering by investing in the heavily affected sectors of education and culture. Nothing embodies resilience and confidence in the future better than schools. The new education facilities are being built with the involvement of local communities, following the highest European standards. Meanwhile, revitalising cultural heritage will benefit the local economy, diversify tourism and strengthen the connection between Albania and its European history. The response of the European Union and its Member States throughout the past year has shown once again that the EU is Albania’s first donor and most reliable partner on its way to EU accession.”

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Videos:

Photo gallery

Video gallery

Together for Albania

School in Durres

Lac Hospital

Family in Lac

Visit in Kruja

Agenda

  • 17 February: 13.00 - 14.30 (Europe/Brussels)

    Registration and welcome coffee

  • 17 February: 14.30 - 15.00

    Opening and welcome

    • Welcoming remarks by President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen
    • Statement by Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama
    • Statement by President of the European Council, Charles Michel
    • Statement by Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković
  • 17 February: 15.00 - 15.10

    Video about the earthquake and initial emergency response

    • Introduced by Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič
  • 17 February: 15.10 - 16.00

    Presentation of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment

    • Presentation of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment – National PDNA Coordinator, Milva Ekonomi
    • Presentation of the financial mechanisms for channelling the reconstruction funding – Minister for Reconstruction, Arben Ahmetaj
    • Statement by the United Nations – Mirjana Spoljaric, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS
    • Statement by the World Bank – Linda Van Gelder, Regional Director for the Western Balkans
    • Statement by the European Union – Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi
  • 17 February: 16.00 - 16.30

    Coffee break

  • 17 February: 16.30 - 18.30

    Pledging session

    • Statement by Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi
    • Statement by other invited countries and organisations
  • 17 February: 18.30 - 18.40

    Closing remarks and conclusions – Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi

  • 17 February: 18.45 - 19.00

    Press conference

    Download the agenda

Practical information

When
17 February 2020, 13.00 (CET)
Where
Brussels
Belgium