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The international community has pledged $1.25 billion to help Albania recover from a devastating earthquake during a European Union-led donors’ conference in Brussels. 

“UN agencies have joined forces in developing and implementing the recovery measures based on the sectoral needs as identified by the Government,” said Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, Director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS.

The pledges are expected to cover the country’s reconstruction needs following the November 2019 earthquake, which was the strongest to hit Albania in more than 30 years and killed 51 people.

The aftermath of the earthquake also increased the poverty rate by 2.3 per cent and hit more than one per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), with 220,000 people or 10 percent of the country’s population being affected.

A post-disaster needs assessment undertaken by the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank and Albania appealed for € 1.08 billion from international donors to rebuild vital infrastructure such as houses, schools, and businesses.

That amount will also fund an upgrade in the country’s disaster preparedness.

Ms. Spoljaric called for transparency in the recovery effort and urged the Albanian Government to streamline its disaster preparedness, as the country being the most vulnerable to disasters in Europe.

She further added that a strong recovery programme would provide sound foundations for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Albania.

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