Exposed to various natural hazards including earthquakes, floods, mudflows, landslides, forest fires and droughts, Albania faces one of the highest levels of disaster risk in Europe.
Over the period 1995–2015, an average of 30,000 people were affected annually by natural disasters, and more than 95 per-cent of Albanian municipalities were affected by at least one disaster.
In 2019, an earthquake of mag-nitude 6.4 hit the country, affecting over 200,000 people in 11 municipalities, including Tirana and Durrës. According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), the earthquake caused damages equal to 6.4 percent of the 2018 gross domestic product (GDP), and losses equal to an additional 1.1 percent.
Left unchecked, the impacts of disasters could further increase as a result of the growing economy, and climate change may increase the severity and/or frequency of weather-related disasters, such as floods, wildfires and droughts.In July 2019, Albania approved a new law on civil protection, which presents a modern and progres-sive approach to disaster risk management (DRM).
Among many key actions, the law requires that risk assessments be carried out at the national, provincial and local levels at least every three years, that institutions and private entities provide data on disaster losses, and that a disaster loss database be established.
While disaster risk assessment and loss data collection have been performed in Albania for many years, the obligations under the new law formalize the requirements and responsibilities of the involved parties, and aim to ensure that the resulting information is pro-actively used to prioritize, plan and implement DRM.
This current report provides recommendations, based on a gap and needs assessment, on specific activities to put the requirements of the Law into practice, informed by global best practice.