Shkodra, part of the EU funded programme: “Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptians- a booster for social inclusion”Apr 26, 2016
Shkodra is the beneficiary of a new programme “Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptians- a booster for social inclusion” funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Municipality of Shkoder and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth.
The Programme was presented in Shkoder in the presence of local government authorities, civil society, media and members of Roma and Egyptian Communities living in Shkoder.
Voltana Ademi, Mayor of Shkoder, present at the launching event underlined the importance of social and economic inclusion of Roma and Egyptian Communities in the development mainstream. Furthermore, she expressed the commitment of the municipality to cooperate with UNDP to improve Roma and Egyptian’s access to public services such as education, employment, health and other sectors.
Jan Rudolph,Head of Political, Economic and Information Section, from the European Union Delegation to Albania present at the event underlined: “The situation of Roma and Egyptians is a paradox of our society. We should work to break the barriers that do not allow all citizens to enjoy equal rights. The social and economic inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities is indeed one of the top priorities of the EU Agenda for Westerns Balkans and, in particular, in Albania’s accession process. It is part of priority five in the roadmap for EU Accession and will continue to be high in the agenda throughout the entire accession process”.
Yesim Oruc, UNDP Country Director, present in the activity, in her speech said: "The successful implementation of the National Action Plan for Roma and Egyptian inclusion will contribute significantly to Albania’s achievements regarding poverty reduction, inclusive and equitable service delivery in areas such as education, health care, etc. UNDP will continue its efforts at the local level in Shkoder by improving representation of Roma and Egyptian communities in local decision-making. ESERE project will support Community local led interventions, reinforcing of Roma and Egyptian representation in the local decision making.
Shkodra is one of the regions where the programme is being implemented. A total of 92 Roma households, with an approximate number of 443 inhabitants and around 2000 Egyptians reside in Shkoder.They are concentrated in three settlements: at the entrance of the city along the Buna River, at the quarter of Tophane and at the so-called Dubai neighbourhood. Most of the Roma live in tents or huts and in very difficult conditions. Their main sources of income are the collection of iron waste and begging in the streets. Illiteracy is very high and very few children attend the kindergarten and school. The number of unregistered children is high.
The Programme will also be implemented in Durres, Berat and Tirana.The total programme amounts to four million EUR and has several components including: employment, community led local development, social inclusion and access to basic services.The programme will also support strengthening of the institutional capacities to implement the National Action Plan for Integration of Roma and Egyptians developed with support from UNDP.