From: Alice Taylor
EUR 11.65 Million for Earthquake Reconstruction to be Managed by Four UN Agencies

Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK have pledged to provide EUR 11.65 million to support the post-earthquake recovery in Albania.

The money will be used in areas such as education, community infrastructure, social protection, economic recovery, child protection, and gender equality. 

The news was announced by Minister for Reconstruction Arben Ahmetaj and the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, Brian J Williams. Four UN agencies will be managing the distribution of funds under the coordination of the UN Resident Coordinator Office and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund in New York.

“We are grateful for your collective and individual commitment to help the people of Albania overcome such a difficult situation for the country that was hit both by the quake and the global pandemic”, said Ahmetaj.

Williams added that Albania now has the support and potential to come out of the crisis, stronger and better.

“We are working with the authorities and all local stakeholders that our recovery programmes strive to build back better”. Yes, the situation is challenging but if we are all committed to bringing good change, we can achieve it.”

The 26 November earthquake claimed the lives of 51 people and left tens of thousands homeless

In terms of education, UN Albania said support will be given to teachers and students from schools affected by the quake. Online teaching capacities will be strengthened and it is hoped it will be integrated as a part of the National Education Sector Strategy 2021-2026.

UNICEF will also work on recovery plans to capacity build with teachers, psychologists, and to provide counselling. Child-friendly spaces will be created in creches, kindergartens and schools in the affected areas.

UNDP will focus on the reconstruction of community infrastructure while UNOPS will work on reconstructing cultural heritage sites. Other areas to be addressed include market disruption, loss of jobs and livelihoods, and the creation of job opportunities.

Those living in tents will be supported through adequate social services.

In terms of child protection, UNICEF will work with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection to address children living in affected areas. Particular attention will be paid to recovery plans including psycho-social assistance for abuse, violence, and exploitation.

Additional projects include reducing inequality and the vulnerability of women by providing gender-specific requirements in vulnerable segments of the population. Financial advisory services will also be provided to farmers to support, rehabilitate, and increase resilience in affected areas.