Distribution of compensation grants for rebuilding quake-damaged homes in Tirana underway

All families affected by the earthquake that hit Albania on November 26 last year are eligible to a compensation grant through state budget funds according to the level of damage they have sustained.

The distribution of the government recovery grants to an initial group of 3,000 affected households for rebuilding the earthquake private homes started in Tirana after the process was earlier launched in the municipalities of Shijak and Kamez. From today on, all the eligible families can report at the nearest post service offices to withdraw the cash compensation.

“Assessing the situation from day one allows us all to stand by all affected families and award them whole compensation they are eligible to. It is about a fund of around 8 billion lek in grants for rebuilding only according to the level of damage, namely the so-called DS1, DS2 and DS3 damage level,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said in an online videoconference meeting with the Mayor of Tirana, underlining that the Municipality of Tirana has earmarked a total amount of $5.6 million to support this process.

“This phase of the process is about the initial 3,000 grants. After the government allocated the funding, we started with disbursement process, while some 3100 other applications are being reviewed, exhausting the largest part of the grants earmarked for the affected families by the Nov 26 earthquake,” Mayor Veliaj said, adding that same procedure is being applied as it was the case in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that hit the country in Sept 21, when compensation grants were delivered to a total of 1861 families and when 65 new houses were built from scratch.

As to the individual homes affected by the Nov earthquake, Veliaj announced plan for the start of work to build first 50 houses in the area of Farke.

“Contracts for the first 200 houses have been signed. Construction of first houses in Farke area will kick off next week and we will continue this way every week,” Tirana Mayor said.

On his part, the State Minister for Reconstruction Arben Ahmetaj said that work is progressing at a fast pace on program for reconstruction of collective homes. “Work is set to start on the ground by end of September to press ahead with the forth reconstruction program, which has to do with the construction of collective homes, or apartment buildings,” Reconstruction Minister stated, adding that, on the other hand, our priority program to reconstruct all schools by November is also on right track. “The schools reconstruction program is entirely operational and active today. A total of 140 schools, a majority of them through state budget funds, are already being constructed,” Ahmetaj said.