EC says economic aid is insufficient

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 18, 2019 11:42

EC says economic aid is insufficient

TIRANA, July 16- The European Commission, referring to the World Bank, reported that the poverty rate in Albania amounted to 35.2 percent in 2018. The groups reported at higher risk of poverty are unemployed, people in rural areas, the elderly, vulnerable women, people with disabilities, as well as Roma and Egyptians. The highest level of poverty was observed in the northeast of the country. The European Commission notes that the social protection system does not provide adequate protection for those in need. Unemployment payments in Albania cover only 2.7 percent of registered unemployed.

“The reform of the economic aid scheme was implemented across the country in January 2018 to improve efficiency and reduce fraud. While the available data (November 2018) show a rise in new beneficiary households, while data of improvements in targeting those in need are missing. The financial weight of the scheme is only 0.025 percent of GDP (2018). The scheme’s effectiveness is questionable, as compensation remains below the extreme poverty line, and only a handful of people living in poverty are covered,” the European Commission noted in its recent analysis of economic developments in the region.

Another dedicated employment promotion program covered 21 percent of disabled job seekers registered in 2018. The figure, however, does not represent inactive persons who require financial support. One particularly challenging area is social care services which are underdeveloped, uninvested and generally absent. Pensions are almost universal but small, and the coverage of health insurance is very low. The pension system is segmented between rural and urban areas, and the average pension represents 37 percent and 65 percent of the average salary (2017). The ratio of contributors to beneficiaries has steadily increased from 0.98 in 2013 to 1.21 in 2017, and the social security scheme continues to be in deficit.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 18, 2019 11:42