Abu Dhabi, UAE, 29 November 2020: Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for economic development, approved a grant of AED 257 million (US$70 million) provided by the UAE government to fund the development of more than 2,000 residential housing units that is part of the urban redevelopment of one Albania’s leading economic centers that sustained major damage from a series of recent earthquakes.
This grant supporting the Albanian urban reconstruction program is being provided under the direction of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces for implementation by ADFD. His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, and H.E Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of State for Reconstruction in Albania signed the Memorandum of Understanding of the funding in Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Mohammed Al Suwaidi said: “This development project truly represents the core values of ADFD and the UAE. It helps provide people with safe, affordable housing in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals while contributing to the positive economic development of a long-term strategic global partner nation.”
Durrës County is home to the nation’s second largest city as well as the Port of Durrës, one of the largest transportation, shipping and logistics hubs on the Adriatic Sea that links Albania to Western Europe. Durrës County was hit by two earthquakes in 2019, including the strongest quake to hit the region in more than 30 years just months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. This project will provide housing to the thousands of local residents displaced when 2,500 buildings were rendered uninhabitable as a result of those quakes.
“Albania and the United Arab Emirates have long maintained a strong and mutually beneficial economic cooperation relationship,” said H.E Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of State for Reconstruction in Albania. “We also have an excellent track record successfully working with ADFD to fund and develop critical infrastructure projects that are strategically important to sustaining our national economy. The redevelopment of Durrës County has been impacted by the global pandemic and this project will help accelerate our continued economic recovery.”
The Durrës County housing grant is being administered by ADFD under direction of the UAE government. ADFD will work closely with the Albanian government to monitor and supervise the project development to ensure construction is in line with international quality, environmental and safety standards.
Since 2011, ADFD has funded projects totaling greater than AED 440 million (US$119 million) that included Tirana River and road rehabilitation projects that contributed to the national economic revitalization strategy and helped increase foreign investment in Albania.