Civil protection in Albania

Albania is a country in Southeast Europe exposed to many natural and man-made disasters.

In the past, the most significant risks may have come from earthquakes, although recently, the country has experienced floods, landslides, and other hydrogeological emergencies, ranging from small to medium extent.

Due to the economic situation, presence of infrastructures, few means of communication, mass emigration, a construction boom, indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources, and environmental pollution, the territory has become more vulnerable, affecting the population and the national economy.

Over the past few years, the Albanian government has undertaken a critical and all-inclusive reorganization of the National System of Civil Protection on Disaster Risk Reduction by adopting the European Union Legal framework on Civil Protection and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The National Civil Protection Agency was established by Civil Protection Law No.45 of 18 July 2019, which deliberated an all-inclusive reform of the Albanian Civil Protection System.

The organizational structure and mandate of the NCPA was approved by the Decision of Council of Ministers No.747 of 20 November 2019 and international one was established by the Prime Ministerial Decree No.27 of 3 February 2020, “On the internal organization and staff structure of the NCPA.”

The organization has 106 employees (93 of which are members of Albanian Civil Service) divided into six Departments, twenty (20) functional sectors, and four (4) Civil Protection Regional Centres. This organization diverges noticeably from the former Directorate-General for Civil Emergencies, which had approximately ten employees.

The NCPA is a central public legal entity. It has a leading role in activities and projects concerning for risk prevention, forecast, and monitoring and intervention procedures for disaster risk reduction and Civil Protection.

It operates in the framework of international cooperation to accomplish the objectives set out by the Civil Protection Law No.45 of 18 July 2019. Also, it coordinates them as well as drafting and implementing financial aid projects carried out in cooperation with foreign and domestic donors and organizations, aiming to reduce the disaster risk while working on reaching the criteria for membership status of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

The NCPA is working on three primary documents at the central level, Disaster Risk Assessment, Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy, and National civil emergency plan, which will be implemented at the local level.