Italian Government furthers its support to the Territorial and Administrative Reform:New financial agreement signed with UNDP

Oct 18, 2016

During the signing ceremony in Tirana

A new agreement worth USD 1.361 million was signed today between Government of Italy and UNDP to support consolidation of the Territorial and Administrative Reform in Albania. This intervention will work to strengthen institutional and administrative capacities of municipal administration to implement the reform as well as modernize public service delivery. In addition, the project will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16-Good Governance.

The Italian Ambassador to Albania Mr. Alberto Cutillo who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Italy highlighted: “I am confident that the Italian contribution can provide a significant opportunity to further join hands to sustain Albania on its path towards EU integration and to bring tangible benefits to the entire Albanian society”.

Brian Williams, the UNDP Resident Representative underlined: “We are all conscious that the consolidation of local governments and local governance has still to overcome a number of serious challenges and needs bold decisions for an effective implementation of the country’s administrative and fiscal decentralization strategies in practice”

Minister Çuçi expressed appreciation for the support received by the Italian Government and other partners during both phases (STAR 1 &2) of the project implementation. Further the Minister said: “The Administrative and Territorial Reform is now a tangible reality, a reform that helped strengthen decentralization capacities of local governments units across the country. The impact of this key reform has started to show benefits. As such 12 million USD dollars have been saved by cutting administrative expenses and about 15 million USD dollars more, compared to last year, have been collected from local taxes. In partnership with donors we are supporting the creation of digitalized services through one stop shops. We will soon, start implementing the digitalization of archives. The Albanian Government has committed 1.5 million USD to this and 1 million USD are committed by donors. STAR2 has a total financial value of USD 8 million”.

Furthermore, the STAR2 interventions will contribute to the advancement of Albania’s European Union accession process. STAR 2 enjoys support by a number of international development partners through the pooled funding mechanism. International partners include: the European Union, the Government of Italy through Italian Development Cooperation, Swiss Government through Swiss Development Cooperation, the  Government of Sweden through Swedish International Development Agency, the United States through the United States Agency for International Development and UNDP.