Albania Relief Update
Currently the IRC’s shelter teams are rehabilitating large buildings like warehouses and former military barracks to accommodate refugees. In additional to structural work, the teams are installing washing, toilet, kitchen, dining, storage, and clinic facilities. Work is under way in Fushe Kruja, Instituti (Tirana), Rubik, Droja and Burrel. In addition, a new access road to the Droja camp is also being built, since the existing road is impassable in inclement weather.
Future sites include Vora, Bubqi, Rreshen, and five sites in Shkodra. Activities in the southern part of the country continue with sites including Korce, Librazhd and Elbasan.
The Rapid Response assessment of primary needs in Gjirokastra resulted in the establishment of a warehouse stocked with sanitary/hygiene items that are distributed to new arrivals in the camps. Sanitary and hygiene items will also be distributed through the IRC Mobile Clinic, the stationary clinics run by Aid Without Borders and the Catholic fathers in Elbasan. We’re also creating lists of available supplies and putting additional emphasis on meeting the emerging needs of host families.
Basic primary health care medications and equipment have been distributed in all four districts of Peqin, Elbasan, Librazhd and Gramsh. A small dysentery epidemic at the Librazhd camp was detected and quickly contained. The IRC has been designated as the Coordinating Medical NGO in the Elbasan Prefecture.
In Tirana Prefecture two mobile clinics have been set up, staffed with Kosovar doctors and nurses and Albanian social workers to serve the medical and non-medical (food and non-food items)needs of the host families. The clinics may soon be expanded to better serve identified clusters of under-served geographically-scatted populations.
Meanwhile, IRC social workers have developed an emergency psycho-educational program for refugee children under 11 years of age. We’re coordinating our work with the activities of other international aid organizations and local charities. We’ve also enlisted the support of a local women's group, the Women's Association for Social Activities, to begin a tracing program in each prefecture to reunite children with their families.
In association with the director of Primary Health Care of Tirana Municipality, the IRC plans to conduct the first Kosovar Refugee Health Survey. The survey instrument is currently being evaluated and tested. The local authorities have the network and capacity to efficiently execute this survey.