By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA) - The international community pledged €1.150 billion ($1.25 billion) to support Albania’s longtime recovery after the deadly 2019 earthquake, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission revealed on Monday.
The announcement was made following the “Together for Albania” international donors' conference organized by the EU.
Besides EU member states and institutions, several other countries and international organizations, including Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, UN, and the Work Bank participated in the event.
EU member states, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank in total offered €400 million aid for post-disaster recovery.
“EU stands for solidarity,” von der Leyen said, commenting on the results of the conference. “The people of Albania know that they belong in our European family -- now more than ever," she added.
“The total value of Turkey’s aid and pledge to earthquake victims in Albania is approximately €46.3 million,” Faruk Kaymakci, Turkey’s deputy foreign minister and director for EU affairs, said at the donors’ conference.
He also explained that Turkey was among the first responders to the disaster with its search and rescue team, as well as humanitarian aid. The country also contributed to the reconstruction of houses and the Preze Castle Mosque.
“Amazing how solidarity spread in the heart of Europe,” Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama said after the conference, and thanked to the EU, United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Turkey for their "amazing pledges".
He called the results “above magic” and said they would have considered even half of the final sum as a success.
“It is incredibly heartwarming what we witnessed,” Rama added.
Northwestern Albania was struck by an earthquake on Nov. 26. The disaster killed 51, injured over 3,000 people, and caused severe damage in the infrastructure and buildings in 11 municipalities.