The European Union (EU) pledged 108 million dollars (100 million euros) at a donors conference it organised in Brussels on Monday to help Albania rebuild after a devastating earthquake in November.
“The EU alone secured 100 million euros from the budget,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the “Together for Albania” conference.
The assistance comes after an emergency 15-million-euro package the EU already approved for priority repairs in December, shortly after the Nov. 26 quake brought down entire buildings on Albania’s Adriatic coast, killing 51 people and injuring hundreds.
Albania, which is among Europe’s poorest countries, has estimated direct damages caused by the catastrophe at 985 million euros (1.1 billion dollars), with more expected as a result of slower economic growth.
Among those attending are representatives of the EU and its member states, the Western Balkan partners and international organisations and international financial institutions, including the UN and the World Bank, the European Commission said.
Apart from reconstruction, Albania has been urged to improve its construction regulations, as many of the collapsed buildings, including coastal hotels, were built without regard for safety.
Late 2019, Albania was prevented from starting EU membership talks after a disagreement among leaders of the bloc.