On the dawn of 26 November, Albania was hit by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake centered west of the Capitol Tirana trapping dozens of sleeping children, women and men in toppled apartment buildings, hotels and houses. The coastal city of Durres and the town of Thumane were among the hardest hit. 51 people died, including seven children. Nine-hundred were injured.
UNDP deployed a team of international advisors to respond to the post-disaster situation and early recovery efforts.In partnership with the Government of Albania, the EU Civil Protection Unit and the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT),UNDP applied the Household and Building Damage Assessment (HBDA) methodology, previously deployed in otherpost-disaster situations, to take stock of the damage in the affected areas. The methodology includes a data collection and visualization process to show damages in the buildings in the seven most impacted municipalities. After a successful field testing, the government adopted the methodology and will undertake the damage assessment in the affected municipalities.
Minister Bledi Cuci in his capacity as Special Envoy of the Government for Crisis Response and Relief, expressed his gratitude to UNDP for leading technical and methodology preparations to kickstart the Building Damage Assessment in Albania in full synergy with the EU Civil Protection Unit.
Currently UNDP is applying its HBDA toolkit to support the government in assessingthe needs ofcitizens currently hosted in hotels and tented camps. UNDP is working with INSTAT to run a mini Income and Living Conditions Survey (SILC) to asses living conditions of affected civilians, through innovative methodologies for data collection, and to provide a data visualization platform which will be useful for the Government’s rapid decisions for priority assistance.
UNDP is also working with Government institutions to generate data on the impact of the earthquake on households in the affected municipalities to produce relevant data for theforthcoming Government led Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) that will count on the support of the European Union, the World Bank and the UN system, including UNDP’s technical support, international and national expertise, and global experience.
The UNDP Resident Representative in Albania Limya Eltayeb said: “In the aftermath of this disaster, the Government of Albania needs to quickly assess damaged buildings and ensure citizens return to their homes, kick start the PDNA assessment, and develop a post disaster recovery framework. The PDNA estimates damages and losses and is foundational to a holistic recovery programme that promotes equity and inclusion. Specifically, the PDNA will assess the full extent of a disaster’s impact, define the needs for recovery, and serve as the basis for designing a recovery strategy to guide donors’ funding. The international community, including UNDP, stands with the people of Albania during these testing times.”
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