A new National Action Plan for Integration of Roma and Egyptians presented in TiranaMar 9, 2016
The National Action Plan for Integration of Roma and Egyptians was presented today in Tirana to an audience of central and local government authorities, Roma and Egyptian activists, Civil Society Organizations, development partners and other stakeholders working towards advancing the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian Communities in Albania.
The Action Plan aims to eliminate barriers that Roma and Egyptians face in accessing services improve their living conditions and promote intercultural dialogue. The action plan consist of six interventions in priority areas such as: Civil registration; Education and promoting intercultural dialogue; Employment and vocational education and training (VET); Healthcare; Housing and urban integration, and Social protection.
The novelty is that this Action Plan was developed in close consultation with the responsible line ministries, representatives of Roma and Egyptian Communities and other stakeholders. The Action Plan will be implemented within the framework of the Policy Document on Social Inclusion. On a higher level, the Action Plan falls under the National Strategy for Development and Integration which is in the process of revision.
The Minster of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Blendi Klosi in his speech, stressed that the Government of Albania is taking all the necessary measures to eliminate barriers that hinder Roma and Egyptian communities to take part in comprehensive education, better health, increasing the welfare by securing formal employment, improving the housing situation, civil registration and social protection.
Mr. Yngve Engström, Head of Operations, EU Delegation to Albania, present at the event said that the EU will continue to support Roma and Egyptian Communities in the future as well. Speaking about the New Action Plan, he highlighted the need to work jointly to achieve tangible results.
“A joint undertaking is needed, and it also requires a strong monitoring. We will closely follow up the action plan”-said Mr. Engström.
Mr. Brian J. Williams, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Albania added:” Addressing the integration of Roma is also critical for Albania to respond to many recommendations made in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review process overseen by the UN’s Human Rights Council. The Government has agreed with those recommendations, and this Plan will contribute to its response. Successful implementation of the Plan will require a strong monitoring framework. It must generate reliable, verifiable information that can be reviewed by all partners. Monitoring mechanisms must make space for and draw upon the insights of civil society, community partners, youth groups and human rights structures, such as the Ombudsman’s office”.
Representatives of Roma and Egyptian communities, respectively Mr. Bledar Taho and Mr. Arjan Lile praised the participatory process in drafting the action plan.
The national Action Plan for the Integration of Roma and Egyptians is developed with the support of the United Nation Development Programme, as part of the project “Supporting Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians Communities,” funded by the European Union and implemented by United Nation Development Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth.