For Immediate Release
SHKODRA, JANUARY 13, 2010 – In response to the emergency situation created by flooding in northern Albania, the United States Embassy announced today a donation of $50,000 in emergency assistance to flood victims. The funds are being disbursed through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to the Albanian Red Cross for the purchase and distribution of blankets, food, hygiene kits, and other emergency relief supplies to affected populations to an estimated 5,000 people in northern Albania.
In January, Albania experienced heavy rains and melting snow causing severe flooding in the Shkoder and Lezha regions of northern Albania. Floodwaters submerged or isolated nearly 2,500 houses and led to the evacuation of more than 5,300 individuals, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). A landslide closed a road in the affected area, and roads, bridges, water supply, and agriculture infrastructure sustained damage. An estimated 6,000 people in the flood-affected areas refused to evacuate and abandon livestock; as a result, authorities forced evacuations in some areas, according to local news sources. As of January 13, water continued to rise in affected areas, and additional rain and snow were expected through the spring.
In response to the floods, the Embassy will continue to closely consult with the Albanian Government and coordinate with the international community, to respond to the immediate needs of the affected population, as well as the eventual return of people to their communities and the need for long-term reconstruction and recovery efforts.
For more information about USAID's emergency humanitarian assistance programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.
Last updated: October 30, 2013