The European Union (EU) pledged 108 million dollars (100 million euros) at a donors conference it organised in Brussels on Monday to help Albania rebuild after a devastating earthquake in November.
“The EU alone secured 100 million euros from the budget,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the “Together for Albania” conference.
The assistance comes after an emergency 15-million-euro package the EU already approved for priority repairs in December, shortly after the Nov. 26 quake brought down entire buildings on Albania’s Adriatic coast, killing 51 people and injuring hundreds.
Albania, which is among Europe’s poorest countries, has estimated direct damages caused by the catastrophe at 985 million euros (1.1 billion dollars), with more expected as a result of slower economic growth.
Among those attending are representatives of the EU and its member states, the Western Balkan partners and international organisations and international financial institutions, including the UN and the World Bank, the European Commission said.
Apart from reconstruction, Albania has been urged to improve its construction regulations, as many of the collapsed buildings, including coastal hotels, were built without regard for safety.
Late 2019, Albania was prevented from starting EU membership talks after disagreement among leaders of the bloc.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Albania should be ready for second wave of COVID-19: PM
Rama made this statement following the inspection of a new hospital structure made available to withstand any possible recurrence of a second wave of COVID-19.
“The second wave is said will come in fall with all the viruses that accompany the onset of winter. It may or may not come, we do not know what awaits us, but we will continue to be ready in case we will have to face an influx in hospitals,” Rama said.
Rama underlined that the pandemic wave was well-managed thanks to the commitment and dedication of doctors, and expressed his thanks for the plan of preventive measures implemented meticulously.
During his visit to the new hospital, Rama was accompanied by Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu, who confirmed that the hospital has a capacity of 100 beds.
“This hospital will be made available to patients after the treatment received in the Infectious Diseases Hospital until full recovery from the virus,” Manastirliu said.
Twenty-one new coronavirus cases were registered in Albania over the last 24 hours, according to health authorities. To date, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Albania has reached 1,164, with 891 recoveries and 33 fatalities.
Albania celebrates Int’l Children’s Day
International Children’s Day was celebrated on Monday with fun activities dedicated to children at the newly reconstructed “Rinia” park in the centre of the Albanian capital.
Children accompanied by their parents enjoyed the new playgrounds, toys, the concerts with songs and dances, sports games, circus and other fun activities organized by Tirana Municipality.
On Monday, health authorities lifted restrictions for citizens to visit parks and playgrounds. President Ilir Meta paid a visit to an orphanage in Tirana, where he donated books and drawing notebooks to the children.
Meta stated that on this day all children, especially those without parental care and those belonging to families in economic difficulties need more love, support, understanding, health care, free education, and protection from all forms of exploitation.
The president commended New beginnings orphanage for helping some 200 abandoned children, orphans or children from families with major social or financial problems, for 25 years.
“Your mission throughout these years has been to help, support and invest in the children with major social problems, and have them educated and get them out of…poverty, preparing them for the challenges of the future,” Meta said.
On Monday via a Facebook message, Minister of Education, Sport and Youth Besa Shahini said that children have the right to live a healthy and safe life without violence or discrimination, and to receive a good education, and underlined that adults and state institutions have “the obligation to ensure these rights.”
On Monday children across the country were allowed to return to kindergartens and nurseries as the government has authorized them to resume activities under strict hygiene and protective protocol.
Kindergartens and nurseries will be open throughout the summer and will give priority to children with working parents.
For more than two and a half months, all public and private kindergartens and nurseries in Albania had been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Loan payment deadline extended to end of August in Albania
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Governor of the Bank of Albania (BoA) Gent Sejko signed here on Thursday a joint order to extend the deadline for loan payments until the end of August 2020, Rama announced via a Facebook message.
“BoA also approved relief measures for commercial banks to make proactive credit rescheduling until Dec. 31, 2020 with an extension from one or several years, according to the degree of difficulty facing each business,” Rama wrote.
This is the second time the government decides to postpone the loan payment deadline for three months as a measure to assist enterprises and households that may face difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 17, Rama and Sejko signed the first joint order on the extension of the deadline for payment of loans.
Coronavirus cases in Albania top 1,000
Speaking at a daily briefing, Eugena Tomini, an expert from Public Health Institute, said that six coronavirus cases were registered in Albania over the last 24 hours, raising the total to 1,004.
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection reiterated its call on all citizens to be careful, respect physical distance and personal hygiene, especially when the government has decided to ease the majority of restrictive measures imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
Albania registers fewest new COVID-19 cases since outbreak
Fifteen patients have recovered from the disease caused by the coronavirus in the same 24-hour period, Adela Vasili, an epidemiologist from Public Health Institute, said at the daily briefing.
“Currently, 15 patients are hospitalized at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, and only three are in intensive care, whereas the others are in stable condition,” Vasili added.
Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu announced on Monday that the second COVID-19 hospital in the capital Tirana was closed, given the low number of cases that need hospitalization.
To date, 949 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and 742 of them, or 78 percent, have recovered. No fatalities were registered in the country for more than two weeks, placing the death toll at 31.
The Albanian government has eased most of its nationwide lockdown measures starting from Monday.
Albania allows graduating senior high students to return to schools
Graduating senior high students wait to enter their classrooms while observing social distancing in Tirana, Albania, on May 18, 2020. The Albanian government has announced further easing lockdown measures including allowing graduating senior high students to return to schools from May 18. (Photo by Arben Celi/Xinhua)
Albania announces further easing of restriction measures including allowing restaurants, bars to resume businesses
Customers sit at a bar in Tirana, Albania, May 18, 2020. The Albanian government has announced further easing of restriction measures including allowing some restaurants and bars to resume businesses from May 18. (Photo by Arben Celi/Xinhua)
Demonstrators protest against demolition of Albania’s national theatre
Demonstrators protested against the demolition of Albania’s national theatre in Tirana on Sunday as work began early in the morning.
Police cleared 37 artists and activists from the futurist theatre, that was designed in 1939 by architect Giulio Berte during the Italian occupation and is now the heart of the country’s theatrical scene, a local broadcaster reported.
The authorities also detained street protestors, including Monika Kryemadhi, the wife of President Ilir Meta, who runs a small opposition party, TV Klan reported.
Images from the scene showed large numbers of police confronting protesters and some scuffles during the day.
Albania’s socialist-led government has sought to demolish the building for years, arguing it would be too expensive to renovate.
The building is located in the capital, Tirana, a prime real-estate location.
A shopping centre and residential buildings are now due to be built on the site, with the help of a Danish investor.
These plans met with massive protest as artists and citizens argued the government had removed the building’s protective status as a historical monument.
Critics say the land was sold without being put out to tender, aided by a special law.
The president, a member of the socialist party until 2004 and now one of its toughest opponents, refused to sign the law.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Albania’s National Theatre demolished despite protest
The National Theatre of Albania was demolished on Sunday despite resistance from a group of artists and activists, local media reported.
The demolition started at early morning, reported local media Ballkan web, adding that about 20 people were taken to the police station.
In 2018, the Albanian government approved a project to tear down the old theatre building and construct a new one.
Local media said hundreds of people have gathered near the building to protest the demolition, while around 1,000 police cordoned off the area to stop the protesters from entering.
The country’s President Ilir Meta, who strongly opposed the demolition, called the project a “constitutional legal and moral crime” on his Facebook account.
“With the demolition of the theatre, cultural heritage will disappear,” Meta told reporters at a press conference.
The theatre, dating back to 1939, was designed by Italian engineer and architect Giulio Berte.
- Firm donates N2m medical supplies to Kwara Govt
- COVID-19: Doctors donate palliatives to IDP Camp at Eleko, Lagos
- COVID-19: NGO distributes face masks to cleaners, security guards in Kano
- Oyo PCRC lauds Olukolu, ex-Oyo CP
- NSE: All-Share Index rises further by 0.27%
- 8 fresh cases of Ebola confirmed in DRC- WHO
- I’ll stand by you, Buhari tells AfDB President Adesina
- ICT: MainOne, Group partner to support Cote d’Ivoire fight against COVID-19
- APC has done well for South East, says Igbokwe
- UN warns of looming humanitarian crisis in Somalia
- “G7+” still lacks representation: Russian foreign ministry
- 1,826 new COVID-19 cases detected in Qatar, 60,259 in total
- South Sudan’s minister of East African Affairs dies
- Cyprus mulls bringing forward easing of some coronavirus restrictions
- Saudi Arabia reports 1,869 new COVID-19 cases, tally near 90,000
- COVID-19: Katsina govt. relaxes lockdown
- COVID-19: NDDC donates medical equipment, consumables to A’Ibom govt
- 1st LD: Assailant killed, 3 injured in explosion in downtown Kabul
- Ibadan businessman petitions new Oyo CP over alleged rights infringement
- COVID-19: NDDC donates medical equipment, consumables to A’Ibom govt
- Women protest cultists invasion in Rivers community
- Albania should be ready for second wave of COVID-19: PM
- Demand for labor in Germany continues to fall due to COVID-19 pandemic
- FG says cylinder recirculation model will increase cooking gas usage
- Leader of Mongolia’s ruling party calls for synergy to promote national development, interests
- VC harps on national re-orientation to tackle rape cases
- 1st LD: UK COVID-19 deaths hit 39,369 as another 324 patients die
- INEC seeks CSOs’ inputs on new policy to guarantee voters’ safety
- Migrants demand “freedom” at Malta’s Marsa detention center
- Majek Fashek: Sunny Neji expresses sadness
- Bank of America pledges $1bn to address racial, economic inequality
- Pfizer to invest up to $500 m in public drug developers
- UK house prices see largest monthly fall in May since 2009: survey
- GDP: Expert urges FG to prioritise mechanised agriculture, electricity to boost growth
- Tinubu mourns Sen. Muniru Muse
- Iraq’s COVID-19 cases exceed 7,000 as daily increase hits new record
- India launches $6.7 bn plan to boost electronics manufacturing
- Kwara Govt tasks officials on appropriate use of immunisation equipment
- Nasarawa Govt. mulls e -procurement
- Feature: Istanbul’s cafe resorts to well-dressed mannequins to ensure social distancing after reopening
- Adesina: United States jostling for power in Africa, says Diaspora Congress
- Gregory varsity student designs hybrid fuel-less power generator — Official
- Sexual abuse: Ekiti Assembly passes bill for child-victims to access compulsory medical treatment
- Britain announces £160m in humanitarian aid to Yemen
- Latvia confirms commitment to EU Eastern Partnership
- Lufthansa introduces mandatory mouth-nose cover rule
- Malawi plans to reopen schools in July
- 2020 farming season:Institute advises farmers to extend planting of crops
- Television subsidy, not sustainable – FG
- France to sign off on €5bn aid for Renault after jobs pledge
- Lockdown: Gov. Ugwuanyi reopens popular Ogbette main market in Enugu
- Mozambican police urge people to observe preventive measures against COVID-19
- Urgent: UK COVID-19 deaths hit 39,369 as another 324 patients die
- Somalia confirms 66 new COVID-19 cases as tally hits 2,089
- Russia reserves right to retaliate for nuclear attacks: Putin’s decree
- UN humanitarian chief asks donors to prevent Yemen from falling off precipice
- Taliban rejects UN report alleging continued ties to al-Qaeda
- Fourth batch of humanitarian medical aid from China arrives in Belarus
- SDP denies dissolution of Ondo State Executive
- UN chief appeals for urgent funds for Yemen
- Scientists use DNA to unravel Dead Sea Scrolls puzzle mystery
- Expedite action to bring Omozuwa’s killers to justice, group tasks Police
- Zambia on right track to tackle COVID-19: official
- France donates protective equipment to Lebanese civil defense for fight against COVID-19
- Ghana’s COVID-19 cases rise to 8, 297
- Kenya confirms 72 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 2,093
- COVID- 19: Kwara has not lifted ban on religious activities –Commissioner
- Climate change: AFAN advises members on improved seeds variety
- Saudi pledges $500m at Yemen donor conference
- Sen. Kalu’s release from prison is rule of law in action — NCDD
- COVID-19: Lagos govt says churches, mosques remain shut
- Council demands in-depth probe of Adamawa communal clash
- Expert tasks organisations on shared value initiative to reduce poverty
- Israel’s Netanyahu calls on settler leaders to support Trump plan
- Ondo 2020: Group endorses Kekemeke for APC governorship primaries
- Swine fever virus kills pigs worth N7 bn in Lagos farm-AFAN
- China to continue supporting Indonesia in its fight against COVID-19: ambassador
- CAS inaugurates accommodation complex for NAF in Imo
- CR -SIEC issues certificate of return to elected chairmen, counsellors in C/River
- Singapore reports 544 newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases, tally at 35,836
- Linkage Assurance assures meeting recapitalistion requirements, amidst COVID-19 impact
- Japan approves safer, easier saliva test for COVID-19
- Interview: Chinese consumers will benefit domestic, global economic recovery after COVID-19, says renowned UK economist
- Urgent: Explosion rocks downtown Kabul
- New CP assumes office in Gombe
- Morocco announces 37 mln USD aid package for drought-hit farmers
- Tech entrepreneur urges MSMEs to sell people’s needs to stay in business
- Yemeni photojournalist killed by masked gunmen in Aden
- Over 600 civilians killed across South Sudan in Q1: UN
- Iran-Russia ties essential to regional stability: Iranian adviser
- Myanmar reports 4 more COVID-19 cases, 232 in total
- 5 police officers shot, wounded in United States protests
- S. Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 35,000
- Philippine gov’t debt shoot to new high in April 2020
- AfDB President visits Aso Villa, meets Buhari
- FG orders investigation of rape, murder, of UniBen student, Jigawa minor
- Ghana to distribute free face masks to protect students from COVID-19
- S. Africa requires GDP growth above 5 percent to recover business sector
- FG makes next level moves on Ibom Deep Water Port procurement- ICRC DG
- Food security: Lagos vegetable farmers seek access to fertiliser at affordable cost
- Gov. Ortom reassures on Tor Tiv palace
- Man, 25, docked over alleged theft of N1.6m cows in OAU
- COVID-19 cases in Belarus exceed 44,000
- Decoupling with China will come at “significant cost” to United States competitiveness: WSJ
- Ogun Assembly passes 2 bills as Legislative, Judiciary Funds bills scale first reading
- Sanwo-Olu delivers 1,576 new homes, promises affordable mortgages
- Ethiopia receives Chinese donation of 520,000 masks, medical supplies
- FG directs senior officers, workers on essential services to resume work
- Police arraign man, 20, over alleged church break-in, stealing
- France enters second phase in easing of cononavirus restrictions
- Alleged falsehood: Court strikes out suit, discharges Dino Melaye
- Zimbabwe police ban people from traveling into city center to curb spread of COVID-19
- COVID-19: Cititrust donates N1m for provision of PPE
- Aviation stakeholders seek review, sustainability measures as airports reopen June 21
- Namibia’s arts industry continues to be hampered by impact of COVID-19
- Portraits of May 2020
- 596 new COVID19 cases reported in UAE, 35,788 in total
- Environmentalist raises concern about effects of climate change
- 2 Turkish journalists injured in United States police raids on protests
- Namibian gov’t condemns brutal killing of African-American citizen in United States
- Delta Commissioner raises alarm over coronavirus patient
- DG nominee vows to ensure transparency in government procurement process in Nasarawa
- PM orders investigation as Australian news crew assaulted by United States police during protest
- Thiago back in Bayern Munich team training
- Reps urge AFDB Board to stop further harassment of Dr Adesina
- Czech PM faces fresh accusations of conflict of interest
- Indonesian security forces nab rebel for allegedly shooting dead foreigner in Papua
- Cititrust donates N1m to NGO to combat COVID-19
- China details measures to boost rural e-commerce
- All lives matter, EU top diplomat says of United States anti-racism protests
- Kenya launches virtual safari campaign to showcase wildlife globally
- Court orders release of Orji Kalu from prison
- Don seeks national re-orienation to stop incessant rape
- COVID-19 Lockdown: Don seeks total relaxation of economic activities
- COVID-19 death toll in Netherlands rises by 5 to reach 5,967
- Lagos licenses 184 money lenders
- Bierhoff suggests playing next UEFA Nations League as mini-tournament
- Senate confirms 37 nominees for appointment in Federal Character Commission
- Killing of unarmed black man in United States condemned in Africa
- Police nab 4 suspected motorcycle thieves in Anambra
- Nepal sees highest daily spike of COVID-19 cases as total surpasses 2,000
- Britain urges China to step back on Hong Kong security law
- Declare state of emergency on sexual violence, Rights activist urges FG
- Russia to reopen museums, cinemas in mid-July
- Admiral Ekwe lauds Navy for successes in National economy
- Nasarawa Assembly urges Gov. Sule to sack SSG over N248.5m unaccounted funds
- Pests: NIHORT counsels tomato farmers
- Anniversary: Zamfara Govt constructs 14 hospitals for women/children
- COVID-19 disrupts health services for noncommunicable diseases — WHO
- Lebanon’s number of COVID-19 infections rises to 1,242
- Mumbai, grappling with pandemic, braces for Cyclone Nisarga
- Domestic flight operations resume after 2-month suspension in Bangladesh
- Iran says scientist flying home after release from United States jail
- German Govt. debates huge coronavirus stimulus package
- China’s environment improves amid push for green growth
- China’s Guangzhou to host international anti-epidemic supplies expo
- NGBF, NACCIMA sign MoU on industrial development
- COVID-19: NOA moves sensitisation to Imo communities
- Israeli PM says discussing West Bank annexation plan with United States
- Covid-19: NAWOJ distributes food items to widows in Ondo State
- Spotlight: Silver linings of COVID-19 in Singapore
- Table tennis latest sport in Germany to recommence
- District Head plans skills acquisition centre for subjects
- Senate president advocates stiffer penalty for rape
- Jigawa NOA to deepen awareness campaign for prevention of COVID-19
- Archbishop wants children to be law abiding law
- German police investigate after poisoned drinks found in supermarkets
- UNRWA provides food at refugee camp in Gaza City
- Kano State Fire Service saves 73 lives, N704m goods in 1 month
- China vows consistent financial policy to curb housing speculation — Central Bank
- Children play at Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciencia Viva Centre in Lisbon
- Wuhan authorities say they tested 9.9m people for COVID-19
- Gov. Ortom pledges to revive Ameladu Water Works
- German diocese to pay victims of abuse up to € 75,000
- Liverpool will not ease up after sealing EPL title —- Klopp
- UK Prime Minister hosts global vaccine summit June 4
- Over 127 journalists die from COVID-19 globally: PEC
- Thai army to assist in repatriating more citizens stranded overseas
- Lockdown: Osun to meet religious leaders on worship centres reopening
- Indonesia tells Hajj pilgrims to stay home amid COVID-19 uncertainty
- Palestine says seeks UN resolution against Israel’s annexation plan
- Police arrest suspect over threats against Israeli prime minister
- Accelerating increase of COVID-19 cases seen in South Asian countries as Bangladesh records biggest daily jump
- Gov. Makinde’s first year achievements impressive, says Oyo CAN
- Nursery schools reopen in Belgium
- Floyd’s death to inspire change in America: Ghanaian president
- COVID-19: Bauchi State begins testing in new molecular laboratory – Official
- Philippine gov’t says Hong Kong affairs “purely a Chinese matter”
- Negative interest rate likely in Australia despite central bank’s insistence otherwise: economists
- Vietnam records no new COVID-19 cases, 5 more patients cured
- COVID-19: BUA Foundation donates N200m, 5 ambulances to Lagos govt
- Sri Lanka reports second leopard death within a week
- Police seek information on kidnapped poultry farmers in Oyo
- Bosnian interior minister quits amid fights on migration, corruption
- Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatics team fly over Rome on occasion of Republic Day
- Kuwait records 28,649 COVID-19 cases, 226 deaths
- Spanish gov’t assures State of Alarm extension after pact with Ciudadanos party
- Australian government launches national domestic abuse inquiry
- China shares anti-epidemic experience with world | COVID-19 timeline
- Turkey vows to continue drilling activities in Eastern Mediterranean