Over 1 billion euros pledged for Albania quake rebuilding

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.

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