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Over 1 billion euros pledged for Albania quake rebuilding

European Council President Charles Michel, center, speaks as he directs leaders of the Western Balkans onto the podium for a group photo at an EU-Western Balkans meeting at the Europa building in Brussels, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. From left, Montenegro's President Montenegro's President Milo Đukanovic, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Kosovo president Hashim Thaci, North Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Chairman of Bosnia and Herzogovina Zeljko Komsic, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
European Council President Charles Michel, center, speaks as he directs leaders of the Western Balkans onto the podium for a group photo at an EU-Western Balkans meeting at the Europa building in Brussels, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. From left, Montenegro's President Montenegro's President Milo Đukanovic, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Kosovo president Hashim Thaci, North Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Chairman of Bosnia and Herzogovina Zeljko Komsic, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — International donors have committed over a billlion euros in relief for Albania in the wake of last year's earthquake.

The European Union led the pledging of aid at a special conference gathering funds to rebuild anything from homes and businesses to hospitals which were destroyed in the Nov. 26 quake. In all 51 people were killed and 17,000 left homeless.

The EU's Commission and its member states together pledged some 400 million euros. The meeting brought together donor countries from as far away as the United States, Canada and Israel.

“We've surpassed our target for the reconstruction," said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of the total pledge of 1.15 billion euros.

“This is beyond my wildest imagination,” said Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama at the end of the conference.

Associated Press

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