EU, international donors pledge €1.15bn for post-quake reconstruction in Albania

By bne IntelliNews February 17, 2020

The EU, international organisations and civil society pledged to provide €1.15bn to Albania for its post-earthquake reconstruction efforts, the European Commission announced on February 17.

A devastating earthquake of 6.3 magnitude hit Albania on November 26, 2019, leaving 51 dead, more than 900 injured and about 17,000 temporarily displaced.

In total, over 200,000 people were affected by the quake, one of the strongest in decades. Thousands of buildings were destroyed and seriously damaged, including public and private infrastructure, homes, schools and health care facilities.

About 100 delegations participated at the International Donors' Conference in Brussels.

Out of the total sum, the European Commission, EU members and the European Investment Bank pledged €400mn for the reconstruction of Albania, according to the statement.

The European Commission pledged €115mn from the EU budget, including an initial €15mn grant to reconstruct and rehabilitate key public buildings such as schools.

"The whole European Union mobilised for a country that is at the heart of our continent  and that I hope and I am convinced one day will also be part of our union," President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said.

Albania, alongside North Macedonia, expects to obtain a date to launch EU accession talks in March.

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