Tirana, 19 February 2020
The Council of Albanian Ambassadors ( CAA) hails the impressive results of the International Donors’ Conference “ Together for Albania” held in Brussels on 17 February, which pledged a record figure of 1,15 billion Euro donations, covering the material damages and destructions inflicted by the tragic Earthquake that hit Albania on 26 November 2019.
This Conference with a far – reaching echo in the international politics, public and media showed again that our greatest allies, the EU, the USA, the largest international financial organizations and many other partners from the whole world stood near our people and country during those exceptionally hard moments and onwards.
It was hosted under the direct auspices of the new President of the EU Commission, Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the EU Council, Mr. Charles Michel and with the support of the EU Parliament; this Conference, following the publication on 5th February of the new Methodology of Enlargement to the Western Balkans and the promising messages on the opening of the EU accession negotiations is another clear and convincing indication that, despite any instantaneous reservation, all EU Member States are well – wishers and supporters of the membership of our country and the region to the EU.
This exceptional solidarity warms up the hearts and nurtures hopes and expectations for our whole people, but first of all for those thousands of Albanian families most seriously affected by the Earthquake on 26 November 2019.
The CAA shares the gratitude and thanks to all donor countries and to other international organizations, without exception, for their solidarity right on the 26 November last year and the immense generosity shown even on 17 February in Brussels.
Our special thanks go to our brothers in Kosovo and to all our neighbor states.
On this occasion, the CAA extends its congratulations to the government and all country’s institutions, our embassies and diplomatic representations abroad that were actively involved in raising the awareness of the international community and each country on the tragic effects of the said Earthquake, in the efficient lobbying and in a fruitful cooperation with the international agencies for the proper evaluation of the large damages and devastations.
This is also largely credited to the Albanian communities abroad for their valuable contribution, also with their outspoken personalities and artists. The vivid image crafted in this case for Albania is also an outcome of the cross -party consensus and cooperation among all other domestic and foreign institutional actors and factors.
While showing its deepest appreciation for this major event with many expected positive effects, the CAA, however, recalls that there is no time and grounds for euphoria, propaganda and protagonist attitudes; on the contrary, all, in particular, the Government, with its agencies now face an even larger historic challenge and responsibility that following the cooperation with international bodies and donors hitherto should define without delay and with professionalism the relevant categories of donations – grants, loans, credits and their technical specifications, notably for the pledged credits, which seem to be the largest share of the 1,15 Billion Euro amount.
On this basis, the disbursement of funds should proceed as soon as possible, according to their proper destinations and projects.
As it was also highlighted by the President of the EU Commission and the Enlargement Commissioner, what is necessarily demanded now in cooperation with the international specialized agencies is effectiveness, but above all maximum transparency, in order to avert any case of corruption, so that the historic achievement of 17 February is not compromised and impaired
While expressing its firm confidence, the CAA urges the Government and its relevant agencies to do the utmost, so that this major opportunity of solidarity would become a genuine success story also of efficient administration and management.