Central Italy gets back on its feet after the earthquake

Published on Monday, 11 March 2019

The reconstruction of the earthquake-hit areas of Central Italy extends to more than just buildings and infrastructure. It also means rebuilding the social and economic fabric of the devastated regions. The inland areas of Umbria, Marche, Lazio and Abruzzo had actually already been shaken by another kind of earthquake: the exodus of the local population caused by the economic crisis. This was explained by Piero Gnudi, president of Nomisma, the economic research and consultancy firm that put together the “Beginning Again After The Earthquake” Report. 

The study was presented by Luigi Scarola, Nomisma’s local area development and welfare manager, during a meeting on March 7 at the Rome headquarters of Unicredit, one of the companies involved in the rebuilding process. Scarola explained the three main areas of intervention highlighted by the study: a project to help kick-start the tourism industry through second homes (which account for 60% of the housing stock in some of the areas concerned), a new mobility model based on transport on demand and the creation of an agribusiness industry to market and sell organic milk from sheep and goats. Initiatives that, together with the other projects outlined in the Nomisma report, could be up and running in a very short time period.

The subsequent round table was chaired by Nomisma director Giulio Santagata and attended by Enel Italia’s Head of Institutional Territorial Affairs Fabrizio Iaccarino who summed up the main actions our Group is taking to assist the areas in question. In the immediate aftermath of the first quake in 2016, we became involved in getting the electricity supply up and running, both to homes and businesses (particularly agribusinesses), to help the area get its economic activities back underway as quickly as possible. As Iaccarino explained, this rapid response grew into a close relationship with the local administrations and communities affected that resulted in a host of initiatives, such as the creation of listening points across the area to provide citizens with information about discounted energy rates.

Iaccarino also spoke about the Alleva la speranza (Raising Hope) project through which Enel supports the relaunch of agribusinesses by raising funds for farmers involved in highlighting and maintaining the traditional and high quality products of the inland Apennine regions: a good way to reiterate and consolidate the close relationship with the area.  

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