Bosnia's Pomozi.ba humanitarian organisation has sent a 300-ton aid convoy carrying mostly building material to earthquake struck Albania, from Sarajevo on Wednesday morning.
Head of the Organisation Elvir Karalic said the aid collection operation was initiated several months ago with the aim of helping the people who lost their homes in the devastating earthquake that struck the coastal city of Durres.
He said they first collected food, blankets, mattresses and tents, but after consulting the Durres crisis staff they changed their focus.
“We were told they needed building materials the most, so we changed our focus from food to building materials. So far, we collected 300 tons of aid – 14 lorries with around 270 tons of building materials and the rest is food, mattresses, clothes, diapers,” Karalic said.
He noted that Pomozi.ba is not the only Bosnian organisation collecting aid for Albania.
Albania's honorary Consul in Bosnia Muharrem Zejnullah visited Pomozi.ba and thanked them and the people of Bosnia, especially the Federation entity for contacting him and offering their support and readiness to help.
“This is one of the biggest humanitarian aid convoys of this kind heading for Albania after the earthquake. It's a huge convoy with 14 lorries, carrying 300 tons of building materials and other aid,” Zejnullah said.
The convoy is expected to arrive in Albania on Thursday.
“I'm not surprised by the reaction of Bosnian citizens and Elvir and his organisation because we know what we went through. This was a natural disaster, and we went through a man-made catastrophe. We have gone through terrible suffering and we know how it is when one is left without anything, without a home, and tens of thousands were left homeless in Albania and Durres,” said Zejnullah, who welcomed the aid.
The 6.4 Richter scale earthquake that struck Albania on November 26 left 51 dead and over 2,000 injured.
After the earthquake, many Balkan countries offered aid to Albania and numerous humanitarian organisations from Bosnia started collecting aid for this country.