Press Release

UN Country Team in Albania commemorates Albania’s earthquake of November 2019

26 November 2021

  • Today, all of us at UN Albania remember those who lost their lives and express deep gratitude for the solidarity and support that followed.

Today it is two years since Albania’s earthquake, claiming the lives of 51 people, leaving over 1000 injured and 17 thousand buildings damaged. Today, all of us at UN Albania remember those who lost their lives and express deep gratitude for the solidarity and support that followed.

We thank all first-aid workers who rushed to the wrecked buildings to save lives and help the survivors. We thank our development partners, institutions, private sector and individuals who offered their support for the people who lost their homes, their schools and their businesses.

Earthquake Response by UN Albania:

The UN were fast to intervene to rescue people, deploying a UN Disaster Assistance Coordination team from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs working with the EU-led Civil Protection Team.

WHO experts conducted a rapid needs assessment for field hospitals to ensure continuity of health services, provided life-saving risk communication and necessary supplies.

UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA and UN Women through their joint and agency ongoing work were on the ground to provide urgent core relief items.   

In the immediate aftermath, more than 200 frontline professionals were engaged by UNICEF to provide psychosocial counselling and support to over 3500 children and adult family members residing in temporary shelters.

UNDP mobilized staff and volunteers to assess the situation of people affected to generate data that government and international development partners used to prioritize assistance. This information fed into the Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA) presented at the “Together for Albania Donor Conference” raising valuable funds for reconstruction efforts.

The UN in Albania is a proud partner on earthquake recovery, with interventions of over EUR 126 million Euros designed to rebuild the communities affected in areas of education, economic recovery and resilience, community infrastructure, social protection, child protection and gender equality: 115 million Euro funding by the EU to recover damages from the earthquake on schools and cultural sites and 11.65 million Euro from the governments of Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK as a contribution to the Albania SDG Acceleration Fund to support national earthquake efforts.

Under #EU4Schools programme, UNDP is constructing 63 education facilities, benefiting 24.529 pupils and teachers in 11 most affected municipalities. An additional school and kindergarten facility will be built with under with financial support Government of Croatia. Combing the Build Back Better with Build Back Together Approaches, 17 education facilities have already been completed.

UNOPS is working with EU under the #EU4Culture programe to restore and revitalize earthquake-affected cultural heritage sites in Albania with a focus on making culture a driver for local social and economic development and boosting tourism.

To date, one of the targeted sites (The Monastery Church of Rubik) has been restored and work is ongoing on 3 other sites. By the end of 2021, implementation will start on 4 additional sites leading to a total of 8 sites with works either completed or under implementation.

Through UNDP, we are supporting Albanian Government to strengthen the strategic and operational framework for Disaster Risk Management and build capacities at central and local; strengthening the competitiveness and resilience capacities of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME-s), support Albanian institutions with innovative tools and promote employment as part of the Economic Recovery and Resilience Programme.  

Through UN Women, we are working to strengthen women’s resilience and building institutional capacities in all 11 earthquake affected municipalities, so women can benefit from better protection from gender-based violence during emergencies.

In agriculture sector, FAO is supporting farmers and agro-processors affected by the earthquake through grants aimed at rehabilitation of livelihoods and strengthening resilience to future shocks.

WHO is supporting Albania’s early warning and surveillance systems and monitoring water quality and hygiene conditions.


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UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Labour Organization
International Organization for Migration
International Telecommunication Union
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
United Nations Development Programme
UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
United Nations Office for Project Services
United Nations Volunteers
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative