Albania: Earthquake Emergency appeal n° MDRAL008 Operation update n° 2

Situation Report
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Summary of major developments

This Operations Update is to report the progress in the implementation of activities and changing needs on the ground, covering the period from 1 May 2020 – 31 August 2020.
Through this update, the timeframe of the Emergency Appeal Operation is extended by three months (i.e. from 30 November 2020 until 28 February 2021). The main reason for the extension is that the implementation of some activities has been significantly affected and slowed down by the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year and the various restrictions imposed until today. These had a direct impact on the progress of the activities and the ARC’s ability to reach out and deliver some of the planned services to the people in need, particularly in relation to the Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA)/ cash cheques distribution which has started only in June .
Additionally, PSS activities and other related activities with physical community participation have been postponed, including DRR activities at schools. Through the 3-month timeframe extension, all planned activities under the areas of intervention would be achieved.

Operational highlights from the reporting period:

• After the completion of the 3 rd rounds of CVA ( through cash cheques distribution modality) and based on the post distribution evaluation results and the identified needs, it was decided to continue with the 4 th and 5 th tranches of unconditional cash assistance to the group of 1,100 HHs that were selected for CVA support. This will be made possible through new donations to the IFRC appeal that will cover half of the 4th tranche, while the rest of the amount will be covered through bilateral funds donated to ARC.

• Due to the unprecedented pandemic situation, some of the community-based activities such as DRR activities in schools, several trainings for volunteers and simulation exercises and as well FA/CBFA trainings could not be carried out as planned in the initial proposal and are planned for October/November. Some of the community based activities (such as PSS activities, Household visits) that required direct interaction with beneficiaries and face-to face meetings have been either delayed, re-designed or replaced by other online/ virtual forms of support including a hotline created to handle advices and questions due to the limitations caused by the current pandemic to ensure safety measures are respected. As for the workshops and training sessions, some of them were replaced by online training sessions.

• Some of the activities related to strengthening of NS capacities and structure, such as warehouse reconstruction, the establishment of the Emergency Operations Centre and building the NS contingency stock have been delayed due to the lockdown and are expected to be finalized in the next coming months.

Due to the modifications in the planned activities and in their implementation timeframe, the respective budget lines had to be adjusted reflecting the above-mentioned changes. The Operational budget has been revised due to new income (funding) received during the reporting period, and revisiting/ replacing some activities as a consequence of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.