Albania signs new Social Welfare Pact

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 22, 2017 13:32

TIRANA, March 20 - A new Social Welfare Pact was signed this week in Tirana, aiming to improve social care services at a national and local level.

The project is supported by the Swiss-funded UNDP and involves the engagement of central government, 34 municipalities and international partners, joining forces to address the real needs of vulnerable groups in Albania.

The signing ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Edi Rama, Minister Blendi Klosi, Swiss Ambassador Christoph Graf, UN representative Brian Williams, and mayors from 34 municipalities.

"The collaboration between central government and local units, is good news and practice for a Swiss and Albanian mindset," Swiss Ambassador Christoph Graf said at the event.

According to Ambassador Graf, central and local government will be better equipped to address the needs of vulnerable people.

"They can respond faster and in a more targeted way, deliver services at lower costs, and eventually build stronger communities, foster social cohesion and societal trust," he added.

In December 2015, Albania launched a five year strategy for social protection. The strategy aims to reduce poverty among households in need; improve the life quality of people with disabilities, and foster social care services. In addition, social care services have become more decentralized and under the administration of local municipalities with the involvement of specialized non-government organizations.

Switzerland is a key donor in Albania's efforts to guarantee social inclusion and protection. UNDP has provided assistance to Albanian authorities for drafting new policies and setting up innovative practices to offer an all inclusive social care system with particular focus on most marginalized groups.

Next year, Switzerland will fund a new program in support of the social care reform.


Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 22, 2017 13:32