The United States sends its deepest condolences to all the families and communities affected by the November 26th earthquake in Albania. As Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses-Ones said during a visit to the affected region, “This tragedy has touched our hearts profoundly. Please know that you have a friend and a supportive ally in the United States, and that we will continue to support ongoing humanitarian relief efforts, psychosocial support services for children, and post-disaster structural assessments.”
The United States government is assisting the Albanian government and international partners in the response efforts by:
Providing Technical Expertise
- U.S. Army personnel from the Civil-Military Support Element in Kosovo arrived within 24 hours of the earthquake to assist with the search and rescue efforts.
- A disaster expert from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance is helping to assess damage and identify priority needs in the relief effort.
- Emergency responders from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department are in Albania to help coordinate international teams that are conducting damage assessments.
- Structural engineers from USAID are aiding Albania’s urgent efforts to determine whether homes, schools, and other buildings are safe for occupancy.
Offering Humanitarian Assistance
- USAID furnished a grant to the Albanian Red Cross to provide immediate humanitarian assistance and emergency supplies to people affected by the earthquake. With the funding, the Red Cross is distributing critical relief items, such as blankets and hygiene kits, in heavily damaged areas.
- United States European Command (EUCOM) is responding to a request by the Albanian Ministry of Defense for critical disaster equipment and other materiel to replenish currently depleted stocks.
Supporting the Needs of Children
- USAID provided funding to UNICEF, which will provide psychosocial support services to children who have suffered losses and displacement. The funding will also help provide the children with a safe place to heal, play, and focus on well-being while their families and communities begin to recover and rebuild.
The United States continues to coordinate closely with the Government of Albania and international partners in support of relief and recovery efforts. Albania can count on America’s continued support. For updates on the U.S. government’s post-earthquake assistance, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usembassytirana or on Twitter at @USEmbassyTirana