TIRANA, 15 April 2020 - An action agreement ‘EU4schools’ was signed on Wednesday between the EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca and UNDP Resident Representative Limya Eltayeb to support national and local governments in accelerating the recovery process after the November 26 earthquake, through educational facility repairs and reconstruction.
With this agreement of €15 million, the EU aims to support local service providers of education, students and their families, as well as teachers and communities, by assisting the repairing and reconstruction of education facilities, through a transparent, accountable and inclusive process.
Five municipalities will benefit from the EU funding – Kavaja, Kruja, Kamza, Durres and Kurbin – based on the needs identified by the Post Disaster Needs Assessment. Repair work will take place in all five municipalities, while four schools in Kruja and two in Kurbin will be reconstructed from scratch. The fully equipped educational facilities include five kindergartens, eleven elementary schools, two high schools, three joint schools and one professional high school. The total number of school children and teaching personnel to benefit from the project amounts to approximately 7,500 throughout all five municipalities.
EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca said: “We promised to help and did so rapidly. Nothing better than schools can embody resilience and confidence in the future. Launching the EU’s post-earthquake assistance with schools of the highest international standards is the right thing to do. The response of the European Union proves once again that Albania is not only close geographically, but close to our hearts and concerns.”
Through the rapid delivery of EU4Schools, the EU aims to restore education services in local communities in order to make sure that students lose minimum school and learning days and to enable the gradual normalization of life in those municipalities, with education being the foremost priority. On April 14, EU Council adopted the amended EU budget for 2020 to provide Albania, as soon as possible, with the additional EUR 100 million that the European Commission pledged at the “Together for Albania” donors conference in February 2020.
During action implementation, an online, publicly accessible Business Intelligence (BI) dashboard will be made available to all partners and the public through web and mobile technologies, in order to track the reconstruction progress in real time.
Limya Eltayeb, UNDP Resident Representative highlighted: “The recovery interventions are accompanied by medium and longer-term strategies that will strengthen resilience and build capacity to reduce but also tackle the risks and effects of potential future disasters. The ‘Build Back Better’ approach will be twinned with the ‘Build Back Together approach within each locality – foreseeing the cooperation of local government, communities and public institutions in designing and implementing recovery activities rapidly through transparent systems. BBB offers the opportunity to rebuild stronger, safer, more disaster-resilient infrastructure and systems and with higher standards”.
Central and local institutions will be engaged throughout the implementation of the action to strengthen joint government-community oversight and promote ownership and the sustainability of investments.
This EU-funded action will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Albania.