Donors dug deep on Monday to help fund Albania’s recovery from a major earthquake late last year. “Some magic has happened,” Albanian PM Edi Rama said./
By Gjergj Erebara*/
Donors from across the world have pledged 330 million euros in cash and in-kind donations and 850 million euros in long-term projects and loans to address the effects of a November 2019 earthquake in Albania that killed 51 people and razed 11,000 homes.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the aid toll was “beyond our wildest imagination.”
At a conference on Monday called by the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a 115 million-euro package of financial help to rebuilt public infrastructure while the EU’s lending arm, the European Investment Bank, announced loans up to 100 million for both the private and public sector.
The United Arab Emirates pledged to help rebuild 2,000 homes for a total cost of 70 million euros; Turkey offered to erect some 500 homes for up to 45 million euros; Italy pledged 65 million euros in grants, while France said it would provide 150 million euros in development projects and loans.
In the Balkans, Serbia, which has long had a difficult relationship with Albania, pledged two million euros.
“This is a real wow and the fact that I don’t have a speech with me tells about my expectations,” Rama said at the end of the conference. “Some magic has happened. This is beyond our wildest imagination.”
Von der Leyen said: “It is clear Albania cannot hold alone this burden. This is what brings us here. We pledge a sustained wave of investment for reconstruction.”-*Kortezi Balkaninsight