Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

16 October 2024

World Food Day

Vera Lleshaj

“I’m grateful for this opportunity … to expand our daily operations … and provide dairy products and nutritious food to a larger number of people.”


In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Albania’s Durrës area in 2019, Vera Lleshaj was determined to rebuild her farm.

"I work with my family, and we take great pride in our work,” she says. The quake with a 6.4 magnitude was the country’s deadliest in nearly a century and turned much of Vera’s stables to rubble.

Vera is a dairy farmer and sheep breeder. Upon learning about the availability of an earthquake grant through the United Nations SDG Acceleration Fund, she gathered the necessary documents and secured the funds. This enabled her to not only reconstruct her farm quickly, it also helped her expand and improve her production, she says.

Under the grant, which was implemented by FAO, Vera received cash transfers to build a new 100 m2 sheep barn and stables to replace the one she lost. She also received training in how to better manage her farm and strengthen her agribusiness.

Located along the Adriatic Sea, Vera's farm has undergone significant changes since its reconstruction. The increased number of livestock on her farm has brought much-needed relief and renewed hope. The new construction secures a suitable environment for her herds of cows and sheep and makes it easy for her to tend to her animals. It aso allowed her to expand her daily activities and made her business all around more shock proof for the future.

Today, her farm serves as a model to other producers in her area and Vera hersef remains a driving force for positive transformation in her community.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity as it has allowed us to expand our daily operations on the farm and provide dairy products and nutritious food to a larger number of people," she says.