Census 2011: Profile of Disabled, Roma and Egyptian Populations in AlbaniaMay 13, 2015
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative
Director General of Albanian Institute of Statistics, Mr. Gjergj Filipi,
Ambassador of Switzerland, Mr. Christoph Graf,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be part of this round table organized to discuss cutting-edge statistics related to Roma and Egyptian people and Persons with Disabilities. Data and statistics have gained prominence as vital building blocks for making sound policies.
Good planning is based on reliable, up-to-date, accurate and detailed information on the state of the population of a country. Sound data are necessary to achieve long term change in government policies and in the relationship between governments and citizens. Experience has shown that policy making without valid and reliable data is potentially costly and wasteful guesswork.
The UN’s agenda in Albania focuses strongly on providing opportunities and protecting the rights of vulnerable populations including Roma, women, children and persons with disabilities. The report on Roma and Egyptians in Albania, a product of this agenda, provides an original analysis of the 2011 census, complemented by the 2012 UNDP-World Bank survey on Roma and Egyptians in Albania. It presents the socio-demographic profile of the Roma and Egyptian populations, their educational attainment, employment situation, housing, health as well as other dimensions of their living conditions.
Data reveal that Roma and Egyptians face high levels of exclusion and deprivation. For eg: Unemployment rate for Roma women is 58%, for Egyptian women it is 73%. Almost all Roma are employed in the informal sector thus not able to participate in the mainstream economy.
The report provides evidence to inform policy makers in the design of policies and programs that respond to the specific needs of such communities. These call for coordinated efforts to combat poverty, inequality and social exclusion.
The second report that focuses on people with disabilities represents the first attempt to quantify and profile the population with disability in Albania. Baseline data is provided on the socioeconomic situation of people with disability in Albania and their households in 2011/2012, a stepping-stone for more in-depth work in the future.
The analysis reveals that disability and vulnerability are dynamic and intricately linked phenomena. The onset of disability may lead to lower living standards and poverty though adverse impact on education, employment and earnings. In concrete terms, it shows that children living in households led by a disabled person are less likely to attend school.
The report highlights that 96 percent of children aged 6 to 14 in the non-disabled population are attending school, compared to only 75 percent of children with some disabilities. Access of all children with disabilities to education, therefore, remains an issue requiring due attention.
UNDP has provided support to the preparation of these studies in the framework of UN Social Inclusion Programme implemented by the Government of Albania in cooperation with a number of UN agencies. I would like to seize this opportunity to thank Ambassador Graf for the steadfast support of the Swiss Government to this specific programme but also to Albania’s social inclusion agenda.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the UN’s commitment to continue to support the development and refinement of information systems and analysis that underpin sound policy decisions.