Albania: Earthquake emergency appeal DREF n° MDRAL008 6-month update

Situation Report
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Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This Operations Update is to report the progress in the implementation of activities and changing needs on the ground, covering the period from 29 November 2019 – 30 April 2020.

During the reporting period, and after the emergency phase, the Emergency Appeal was revised on the 14 February to support the early recovery of the most vulnerable population affected by the earthquake to increase the funding requirement to 5.1 million and to introduce changes in the scope and scale of the implemented activities including: increased number of targeted households for multipurpose Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA): from 700 to 1,100; extension of in-kind assistance with food and household assistance from two to three months and replenishment of ARC contingency stocks.

On 9 March 2020, the GoA announced the first two cases with COVID-19 in Albania which was followed by imposing restrictions for on entire territory of the Albania for the movement of people, vehicles, gatherings, the closure of all schools; cancelling flights initially until 1 June,2020. This has significantly impacted the progress of implementation and caused some delays in various activities. Nevertheless, immediately after ARC obtained the unrestricted permission to carry out its humanitarian activities on 1 April, 2020, the National Society resumed their PSS activities and the process of the household registration and targeting for CVA has and completed more than 1,500 families interviews in all affected areas.

This operation has also been focusing on strengthening National Society capacities in cash preparedness, volunteer management and training in various areas, PSS provision, information management and data collection, finance, and logistics (including software solutions and framework agreements).

No changes in the budget or the timeframe of the operation is planned through this Operation Update.


Description of the disaster

Since the earthquake struck on 26 November 2019, resulting in 51 deaths and up to 913 people injured, the Albanian Red Cross has been continuing to respond to the needs of the people affected. Aftershocks have decreased in magnitude but are still ongoing. A total of 11,490 housing units were categorized as fully destroyed or demolished and need to be rebuilt. An additional 83,745 of housing units were either partially or lightly damaged. Approximately 17,000 people are displaced and living in temporary accommodation. Most of the displaced households are staying in tents, host families or rented apartments.

The Government of Albania declared a state of emergency on 27 November lasting for 30 days, which was later extended until 31 March 2020.

The most affected administrative regions were the prefectures of Durrës, Lezhë and Tiranë. Structural damage has been widespread, yet focused on old buildings and on those built with poor building practice in the transition area of the 1990s and early 2000s. Additional administrative areas considered secondary affected are those where people have been evacuated to by the government, including Berat, Dibër, Elbasan, Fier, Kukës, Shkodra and Vlorë.

Structural damage assessment by Albanian experts and supported by international capacities has been completed at mid-February. The Post-Disaster Need Assessment indicates that 5,080 buildings (including apartment blocks, single-family houses, hotels, schools, infrastructure, etc) have been categorized under DS4 and DS5, equating to being uninhabitable. In the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) a total of 11,490 housing units have been classified as fully destroyed / to be demolished.