Špoljarić Egger reaffirms UNDP’s commitment to contribute towards Albania’s sustainable human development and EU accession.
During her two-day visit to Albania, UN Assistant Secretary-General Mirjana Špoljarić Egger met with Prime Minister Edi Rama. Discussions focused on regional and global challenges, UNDP’s work in support of the Government of Albania’s reconstruction and recovery efforts, the country’s development priorities and EU accession process.
Ms. Špoljarić Egger also met with the Minister of Finance and Economy, Delina Ibrahimaj. Both highlighted the ongoing partnership between the Government of Albania and UNDP to develop a national strategy to mobilize financing for the achievement of the SDGs, as well as the strategic assistance provided by UNDP in the skills development sector, in partnership and with funding from the Government of Switzerland.
During her meeting with UNDP’s international development partners in Albania, Ms. Špoljarić Egger conveyed appreciation for their shared commitment to development in Albania. Discussions focused on ways to strengthen cooperation and the importance of diverse and broad-based partnerships for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the country.
While in the country, the UNDP Regional Director saw firsthand the organization’s development impact on the ground and was able to engage with partners at the local level.
Together with Minister of Education and Sports Evis Kushi and with Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Albania Hubert Perr, Ms. Špoljarić Egger inaugurated the “Gjergj Kastrioti” school in the Municipality of Fushe Kruje, one of over 60 education facilities reconstructed in the context of the EU4Schools Programme funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP. Combining Build Back Better and Build Better Together approaches, all facilities are being reconstructed or rehabilitated as per the highest European standards.
Ms. Špoljarić Egger also visited the construction site of the “Iliria” school and kindergarten in the same Municipality, where, with funding from the Government of Croatia, UNDP is reconstructing both the school and kindergarten destroyed by the 2019 earthquake. 156 pupils and 14 members of the academic staff will return to the school at the start of the next academic year.
Ms. Špoljarić Egger also visited small businesses supported by UNDP through its world tested “In Motion” methodology which assists micro-businesses affected by the earthquake of November 2019 to re-establish their economic activities. Participating businesses have reported an increase in their profits since. UNDP expanded its support to include more businesses in other earthquake-affected municipalities through the “Economic Recovery and Resilience Programme” funded by the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Ms. Špoljarić Egger also visited the “Divjaka Karavasta” National Park, one of Albania’s Protected Areas, where UNDP, with funding from the GEF, supports the Ministry of Tourism and Environment to improve the management of the National Park and increase revenues generated by economic and eco-tourism activities. The Park is home to the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre, the only one in the country and the first in the Balkans, which hosts and treats injured birds from Albania and neighboring countries. UNDP also monitors the nesting Dalmatian Pelican colony for research purposes.
While in Albania, the UN Assistant Secretary General visited the Durres Roman Amphitheatre and other archaeological sites guided by two youngsters who have been part of the project “Youth Guide for Durrës” supported by the Regional Programme on Local Democracy (ReLOaD) funded by the European Union and implemented by the UNDP in Albania. The second phase of the Programme continues to place emphasis on promoting youth engagement, empowerment, and participation in local decision-making.
“Last year, UNDP marked 30 years of presence in Albania, a time through which we walked side-by-side with the country and its citizens as they transitioned to democracy, strong institutions and resilient communities. We congratulate the Government and people of Albania for their gains towards sustainable human development and assure them of UNDP’s continued support in these critical times for sustainable human development,” said Ms. Špoljarić Egger
Nora Kushti, Communication Specialist