World Bank and businesses request more funds for the prevention of natural disasters

World Bank and businesses request more funds for the prevention of natural disasters
The Albanian government must draft and implement as soon as possible a strategy to prevent repeated natural disasters of a large scale. This was the stance expressed yesterday by the business sector following the situation with floods, which have affected the country in the recent days. Through the organization known as “Konfindustria”, this category claims that massive floods of businesses and agricultural land, have very serious economic and financial implications in the long-run. Businesses have gone as far as requesting a review for next year’s budget, claiming that this budget did not make adequate provisions for the management of natural disasters, such as the floods in this case.

“The 2018 budget must be amended by Parliament in order to divert funds into building a system against floods. Parliament must ask the government to draft the necessary project and submit the necessary amendments for 2018 budget”, says the head of Konfindustria, Gjergj Buxhuku. This stance seems to be similar to the warning issued by the World Bank a while ago, suggesting Albanian authorities to allocate special funds for natural disasters and their management. “The World Bank estimates that for every 1 USD invested for the modernization of hydro-meteorological services in Albania, social and economic benefits from reduced losses caused by natural disasters and production, management of water sources and energy would be at least 2 USD or even 4 to 7 USD”, the former head of the World Bank for Albania, Tahseen Sayed is quoted to have said a while ago, appealing that “it is crucial for Albania to improve its national services responsible for providing crucial information which is used to assess weather threats”, now that, according to her, dramatic climate changes and the extreme weather will be the “a normal thing now”.

Bill, Civil Emergencies: Floods, 200 million euros in 6 years

According to the General Department of Civil Emergencies, the financial damage caused by the floods in the recent years in Albania amounts to 200 million euros. In cooperation with the World Bank, this institution has estimated that from 2009, when the floods had a higher intensity, until 2015, this damage amounted to the figure mentioned above. Meanwhile, the annual damage caused by natural disasters including fires or earthquakes, is estimated to be around 35 million euros. The January 2016 floods alone are estimated to have caused financial damages amounting to 9 million euros.

2018 budget, 100 billion lek of provisions for natural disasters

In next year’s budget, the Albanian government has allocated 100 billion lek as provisions for natural disasters. The scope of these funds is to cover any sector at any time. But, at the same time, they may also be used to cope with natural disasters. The same thing also happened with this year’s budget, in which the government decided to intervene in order to counter the effects of the long draught this year, which was reflected in shortages of power supply. This is something that the government does each year to cover unexpected expenses or cope with natural disasters. This time, this intervention was made as a result of the draught.

World Bank: Floods are impoverishing Southeast Europe and causing economic declines

“Countries of Southeast Europe have suffered as a result of being exposed to extreme weather”. This was the finding made in a recent report issued by the World Bank, including Albania. According to this report, after the 2015 floods, the World Bank, UN and EU concluded that these floods caused financial damages and losses amounting to 110 million euros. “We noticed this during the floods of 2014 in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which damaged the livelihood of the people and economic growth”, the World Bank says, adding that two years were needed for economic growth to recover after floods in these countries, including Albania.

Today the government allocates funds for municipalities affected by floods

Today, the Albanian government is expected to allocate an emergency fund to municipalities affected by the floods. This was announced by the minister of Finance and Economy, Arben Ahmetaj, according to whom, these funds will be spent to clean secondary canals. According to him, this will help in overcoming the situation caused by the floods as soon as possible. “To help them cope with the situation of the recent days, all institutions will be allocated an emergency fund tomorrow to be able to clean secondary canals”, he said.



Shpërndajeni me miqtë tuaj: