United Nations to assist people affected by floods in northern Albania

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Tirana, 10 January 2010 - The United Nations in Albania has followed the developments in northern Albania where the heavy rains in recent days have affected the lives of the local population. United Nations is concerned for the affected population.

Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Albania says: "We have seen the spirit of solidarity with which the Government and other institutions are responding to this situation, including timely international support. United Nations joins the nationwide effort to overcome this difficult time".

After close consultation with the Government and other members of the international community, the United Nations in Albania has decided to contribute US$270,000 in support of the Government's effort to respond to this emergency.

This contribution will be made available as emergency cash grants for the families affected by the flood as well as to support the Government's effort to coordinate its emergency operation in the coming days and weeks. This funding was made available by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

In addition, a team member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) arrived in Tirana as part of the EU Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) mission, in support of the Government's immediate needs for coordination and assessment. A second UNDAC expert member will be made available to the Albanian Ministry of Interior, to facilitate national coordination of international assistance within the Civil Emergency Department for a period of three weeks.

For more information, please contact:

Vladimir Malkaj, UNDP Programme Manager, +355-69-405-9150

UN Office in Albania: Nora Kushti, UN Communications Officer, +355-69-209-0253