Country Profile - Albania
Vademecum - Civil Protection
Albania is a parliamentary republic with a single house of parliament, the National Assembly (Kuvendi), made up of 140 members (deputies), the president being elected by the National Assembly.
National Point of Contact for Civil Protection
At Ministerial level
Inter ministerial cross cutting coordination
Inter agency coordination, levels of command and control
General Directorate of Civil Emergency (GDCE).
At the point at which a State of Civil Emergency has been declared, the General Directorate of Civil Emergency will:
At regional level/Counties
The Qark Commission for Civil Emergency Planning will:
Law on Civil Emergency and National Plan on Civil Emergency
Variation in structures related to disaster types
Ministry of Interior
General directorate for civil emergency
The Prefect of Qark
Organisation in Municipality and Commune Level
The Inter Ministerial Committee will be ensure to donor agencies that emergency assistance is utilized according to the guidelines of each contribution, and a report on provided according to the terms and conditions of that contribution.
Some unsolicited assistance may arrive in country spontaneously and without being requested. This needs to be managed correctly in the same method as the requested relief assistance.
The effective coordination of international assistance places a huge burden on the national response system. Assistance in this coordination can be requested from the United Nations Agencies, EU structures, NATO and from the countries.
Customs, Immigration and Quarantine
The Head of Operations/ Civil Emergency Management Team is responsible for providing information on expected donor assistance to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Services to facilitate this process at entry points. This information will include as much detail as possible on the type, quantity, source, means of transport, arrival point and estimated time of arrival. If an UNDAC team has been requested and deployed, it can provide significant additional support in this area. In the case of an emergency in neighbouring countries, involving displaced people crossing the border, the customs, immigration, quarantine must be prepared to facilitate the appropriate measures of the State.
An agreement on bilateral cooperation for civil emergency support is in force with Austria, Croatia, Greece, Italy and Turkey and agreements are under development with Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Main multilateral agreements:
Relevant international agreements:
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE): Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, signed on 18 March 1992, ratified 05. 01.1994.
Coordination and cooperation between civil protection and disaster prevention
Therefore, in civil emergency situations, the authority charged with coordination may have few, if any, resources to actually require or demand coordination- There is a strong voluntary aspect built from those working relationships and information sharing. Concerned agencies and individuals within them must see the added value from participating in the coordination process, and the benefits must be greater than the investment needed in coordination.
Coordination does require investment of all stakeholders, and no more so than when there are huge stresses on that agency and individual. Coordination requires time and energy, at a time where these are precious resources anyway.- However, investing in the coordination meeting may reveal aspects of the bigger civil emergency situation that immediately changes the priorities of one or more stakeholder agencies, reducing otherwise potentially wasted efforts.
Civil protection tasks and objectives
With the first notification, processed information and prompt response to activate their respective system, these structures enable other structures to assess the situation and intervene in due time for its normalization.
These services provide essential inputs during early warning, as well for timely response through their readily available means and capacities they have for the response phase.
The National Centre for Civil Emergencies (NOCCE) is one of these structures, which is surrounded by a number of other organizations. In it is concentrated and processed all information coming from other similar 24 hours in duty centres and available organizations.
The centralized processing of information to the NOCCE does not mean avoidance of communication between interdepended structures in line ministries and other organizations.
The National Operational Centre for Civil Emergencies (NOCCE)
The NOCCE is the central structure of preparedness in Albania. It monitors situations (or potential situations) of civil emergencies in the entire territory of the country, and serves as a contact point for the collection and processing of all information relating to that situation. This includes emergencies, accidents and incidents affecting or endangering the life of the community, private and public property, and cultural heritage. The NCCE maintains contact with all other civil emergency structures in readiness for a civil emergency event, and inform regularly relevant organizations and media on the civil emergency situation. The NOCCE regularly updates the contact points and notification system for these structures for readiness, while also maintaining regular contacts with them.
National System for Civil Emergency Planning and Response personnel, as well as designated personnel from the Police, Fire-Fighting and Rescue are designated as available personnel at any time. They maintain permanent contacts with the civil emergency readiness structures, and advise decision makers in different levels on the measures to be taken.
The National Operational Centre of Civil Emergency(NOCCE) at the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) at the Ministry of Defence.
With receipt of information from the NOCCE they consider it for action, and follow their inner guidelines and rules to deal with the information and activate, if needed, the appropriate operational structures. These structures are then duty bound to inform and account to the National Centre for Civil Emergencies about their subsequent actions.
Armed Forces (AF), State Police Structures, Ambulances, Police of Fire-Fighting and Rescue (PFFR) and other operational forces.
In compliance with the nature of their missions in their duty locations, once these structures receive information about an event that has brought about a civil emergency, they are placed in readiness. Depending of the status of the emergency, they may initiate actions on the request of the respective Prefect of the Region and orders by their supervising bodies. The information sent by the NOCCE or the Regional Operations Centres (ROC) and received by these structures, should be considered as the basis on which to take further action.
Once these structures are involved in overcoming a situation of civil emergency, they establish and maintain contacts and exchange information with their own command as well as with the NOCCE, which, on its part, also coordinates actions with other structures and bodies of local governance.
The monitoring and warning structures, such as the Institute of Geoscience (IG), the Institute of Energy, Water and Environment (IEWE), the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INPh), and other relevant institutes, inspectorates and organizations.
These structures receive and provide information to the NOCCE, through their networks, on eventual dangers or threats, and in the case of an emergency, coordinate activities to assess the situation and estimate the needs. In addition, they provide continuous information to, and cooperate with, the other structures of civil emergencies in analysing and monitoring the situation, and providing regular information.
Networks in readiness, such as transport, potable water supply, communication and electro-energy services
Civil protection organisational structure
These structures have specific roles, tasks and responsibilities for all the phases of the civil emergency management cycle, and it is essential that they cooperate closely with each other to provide the most effective response possible.
It is essential that the National Civil Emergency Plan be a practical useable resource for all stages of the disaster cycle, from preparedness to response and through recovery to the eventual mitigation of the effects of disaster on the population. With this aim, Section 6 of the plan, covering response, has been designed to be removed and to temporarily stand alone during the brief period of actual emergency, as a practical tool for coordination and for field response. Nonetheless, all the sections are mutually supporting, and make reference to the important annexes of guidelines, standards, checklists and information. Therefore even Section 6 Response should not usually be separated, except for the short-term emergency phase.
This National Civil Emergency Plan is jointly owned by all Government Ministries and Directorates, by Qark, Commune and Municipal Authorities, by all concerned state, private and voluntary organisations and institutions, and by every member of the Albanian Public.
The National Civil Emergency Plan is not merely a document, but a practical resource, that has been developed through a long process of consultation and shared planning with a wide range of stakeholders. Because this National Civil Emergency Plan has been developed by its own stakeholders, it has become a unique resource reflecting experience of the specific hazards, capacities and constraints of the Albanian civil emergency context. What this National Civil Emergency Plan may lack as a theoretical example, it more than makes up for through genuine ownership and direct applicability to the realities that Albania faces today. It is the duty of those stakeholders to keep the National Civil Emergency Plan constantly informed, revised and updated, and therefore relevant to the rapidly changing environment of Albania, whose public and property it aims to protect from risk.
The National Civil Emergency Plan is a living resource, a handbook, checklist and record of essential contacts and their roles, as well as a guide for all stakeholders to reach for in any phase of disaster management. The National Civil Emergency Plan will never be completely finished, but constantly updated, revised and improved, reflecting shared ownership and the changing needs and resources of Albania. The strength of the National Civil Emergency Plan rests in this shared ownership, and shared resolve to work together in a coordinated way, to reduce risks, to save lives and to minimise damage from civil emergency situations in Albania.
Albania is exposed to a considerable number of natural and man-made disasters. The biggest risk of natural disasters comes from earthquakes, but in recent times, floods, landslides and winter emergencies, even though at lower impact, were more evident. Factors such as the economic situation, damaged infrastructure and communication means, mass migration, building boom and other factors related to misuse of forests, natural sources of water and environmental pollution, increases vulnerability of the population and the economy in general.
Albania and its people have suffered the consequences of a series of natural disasters throughout history. For the first time, in October 2003, a national assessment of the potential hazards and the risks that they represent was published in Tirana by the Ministry of Local Government and Decentralization. Entitled “Disaster Risk Assessment in Albania”, this study integrates the results and findings from extensive data collection, compilation and analysis performed over one year. The Disaster Risk Assessment includes sections concentrating on the specific risks presented by the following hazards: seismic events, floods, dam bursts, high snowfall, landslides, forest fires, infectious diseases and technological hazards. The Disaster Risk Assessment represents a major step in the process of developing the subsequent National Civil Emergency Plan, and provides the informed basis on which to build the most effective planning possible.
Aim, Objectives and Principles
The National Civil Emergency Plan therefore draws together and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, State or otherwise. This aims to channel the flow of relevant information, to strengthen decision making, and through coordination, to reinforce the capacity to respond through all phases of the disaster cycle. The National Plan is essentially a coordination tool, which if used correctly will:
In the long term, the eventual Disaster Management aim has to be that of prevention and mitigation, and the National Plan is the necessary route to take in reaching that aim. In non-emergency times, the bringing together of all stakeholders with the overview of their interactions, allows a clearer picture to be drawn at a national level. It allows priority issues to be addressed in sequence and in time, and for a coordinated coherent approach to be taken in soliciting additional support.
The planning process has been lead by the same guiding principles that are also relevant in the implementation process. These are:
Several regional and local exercises with structures of line ministries, local power structures, foreign agencies and volunteers.
Table top exercises
The development of the National Civil Emergency Plan for Albania has been undertaken on an established legal base referring to Law 8756 on Civil Emergency Services of 26 March 2001.
The format of the National Civil Emergency Plan reflects the provisions of this legal base for Civil Emergency Services in Albania and in doing so includes four separate sections that represent the four main phases of the disaster cycle. The legal base for this plan, gives government and non-government structures the possibility to work more effectively and to abide by legal responsibilities in relation to civil emergencies. Attention is drawn to correct implementation of this plan and also the capacities and resources of the structures involved. In some areas and special sectors, additional legislation is necessary, for the structures involved in the prevention of civil emergencies, and effective civil emergency management.
The National Plan has been developed with considerable stakeholder consultation and input, and therefore complements the thinking and procedures behind specific preparedness plans, linking them, often for the first time, with the planned responses of other closely related entities. Particularly in Response phase, the coordination and decision-making procedures and the information flows required at a national level are clearly illustrated for the stakeholder. In this way, it is intended that specific stakeholder response or preparedness plans will complement the national overview, feeding into decision-making processes, which in turn will strengthen the specific stakeholder and sector responses.
However, by definition the National Civil Emergency Plan has to reach further than specific plans. It does this in two ways. Firstly, the National Plan represents the direct functional link between the State and International support, through the United Nations Inter Agency Contingency Plan. This is an important aspect of the National Civil Emergency Plan, in that international support is negotiated on the basis of coordinated, consolidated, information regarding needs, response and available resources. Secondly, the National Plan reflects the wider responsibilities not only of response, but also of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, protection and recovery.
At Ministerial level
At regional level
At local level
Law on civil emergency, national plan and local plan.
Every municipality and commune, establish and maintain a system of:
Organization chains of command during disaster relief operations.
Stage 1: Alert
Persons trained include GDCE personnel, regional and counties fire-fighting forces, private companies personnel; responsible personnel of line ministries and central and regional civil emergency structures.