The 26 November earthquake has plunged some 26,000 Albanian’s into poverty, according to government estimates.
The damage bill that was published by the government yesterday, put the reconstruction cost at almost EUR 1 billion, not accounting for lifting citizens out of poverty. While the government states that some 18.9 per cent of the population in earthquake-affected areas has fallen into poverty, the real number could be much higher.
Exit has visited a number of the cities and rural areas affected by the devastating quake and observed that many were living in poverty beforehand, and the majority are now living in substandard conditions including tents, cabins, containers, and damaged properties. Over two months later, many are still relying on handouts from civil society and claim they did not receive any government aid.
In addition to an increase in poverty, it was also found that citizens were suffering from losses in economic activity, deteriorating health, mental health issues, and difficulties accessing education. Around 54 per cent of those in affected areas reported memory loss, emotional exhaustion, sleep issues, depression and anxiety.