Albania

Switzerland is supporting Albania in the development of a democratic society and a competitive economy with the aim of helping to advance Albania’s integration into Europe. Switzerland's support is focused on local governance, economic development and healthcare as well as urban infrastructure and energy. 

Map of Albania
© FDFA

Since the end of the communist dictatorship, Albania has made considerable progress towards democracy and a competitive market economy. A series of promising reforms have been launched and implemented, e.g. in territorial and public administration, public finance and in the energy and justice sectors. The goal of joining the EU, which is shared by many Albanians, is a strong driving force behind these reforms. In view of these positive developments, Albania was given the status of EU accession candidate in 2014, and in 2016 the EU Commission recommended initiating negotiations on membership. Albania is still confronting major challenges in fighting corruption and organised crime, and there are other hurdles to reducing poverty and unemployment, which are especially affecting rural regions, disadvantaged groups and young people. 

Themes SDC

Democratisation, decentralisation and local governance

Switzerland is supporting institutional reforms and encouraging democratisation and decentralisation. By promoting regional development and strengthening local authorities, it is encouraging civil society to play a more active role in decision-making processes. It is also strengthening mechanisms to ensure parliamentary supervision over the executive at both local and national levels. Switzerland is actively working to ensure access to good-quality local public services for all, especially for discriminated population groups such as the Roma.

State and Economic Reforms

Economic development

Switzerland is supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Albania. Specifically, it is helping to strengthen the management of public finances, monetary policy and the supervision of the financial sector, thus contributing directly to stabilising the macroeconomic situation in the country. Switzerland is also helping to create jobs through targeted measures to improve the overall legal framework for private companies and in this way facilitate access to markets. A sharper focus is being placed on promoting modern vocational training that appeals to young Albanians and prepares them optimally to meet the needs and requirements of the job market.  

Private Sector Development and Financial Services

Urban infrastructure and energy

By combining measures to strengthen institutions while increasing investment at the local level, Switzerland is encouraging the provision of good-quality public services in Albania. In this context, Switzerland is active in improving urban infrastructure and increasing energy efficiency specifically in the areas of drinking water supply, disposal of waste water and collection of waste. The Albanian authorities are also receiving support in diversifying their sources of energy in order to ensure efficient and reliable energy supply throughout the country.

State and Economic Reforms

Health

On the basis of the Albania’s national health strategy for 2017–2020, Switzerland is supporting efforts to strengthen basic health services for the people of Albania. It is supporting national reforms, helping to improve management, equip medical facilities and support continuous training for health personnel. Furthermore, Switzerland is supporting preventive measures to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and efforts to raise awareness of health issues among the population, and to hold healthcare providers to account. This contributes to improving access for marginalised and vulnerable population groups to health services.

Health

Approaches and partners

The 2018–2021 Cooperation Strategy is being jointly implemented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).  Switzerland closely coordinates its transition cooperation with the Albanian authorities, other donor countries and international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union. All its programmes, which are mainly implemented by the SDC and SECO, incorporate the principles of good governance and equal rights.

Switzerland's key partners in Albania are:

  • National partners: ministries, city and municipal authorities, social and professional organisations, the private sector and local NGOs
  • Swiss NGOs: Helvetas-Swiss Intercooperation, Swisscontact, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Terre des Hommes, Save the Children
  • Bilateral and multilateral partners: Germany (KfW, GIZ), Austria (ADA), Sweden, EBRD, EU, Council of Europe, OSCE, UN, World Bank Group, WHO

Current projects

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Albania: Leave No One Behind

01.06.2017 - 31.05.2021

320'000 marginalised and vulnerable population of Albania, primarily Roma and people with disabilities, will benefit from improved social services. Currently, the needs of these people are not met by the social protection system. The project supports the implementation at municipal level of the national policy framework developed with Swiss support. So, the entire population will benefit from equal and dignified access to services and resources.


Albania: Bashki te Forta (Strong Municipalities)

01.06.2017 - 30.09.2022

Municipal administrations in all 61 municipalities in Albania will be supported to effectively manage service delivery based on the citizens’ needs. Municipal councils will be enabled to better represent citizens’ interests and ensure that public resources are well managed. Setting up a reliable and up-to-date local statistical system will allow an informed decision making. Through these improvements, citizens will benefit from better services such as waste and pre-school education and will actively be involved in local issues.


Contribution to the Roma Education Fund (REF)

01.12.2015 - 31.12.2020

REF is the lead organization for Roma education. SDC is supporting REF from its inception, contributing in a relevant way to the Roma decade. REF recently defined a strategy (2015-20) and is strengthening its results orientation. By continuing the partnership with REF, with a focus on pro-inclusion policy dialogue, SDC ensures coherence and consistence of its position in the Roma inclusion agenda. REF's focus on children from early childhood is crucial for the social inclusion of the next generation of Roma.


Water Sector Performance and Investment Programme (WPIP)

01.10.2019 - 31.12.2026

WPIP aims for service improvement in the water supply and sewerage sector for up to 50% of Albania?s urban population. It combines infrastructure investments with comprehensive corporate development support to water utilities, strengthens the water sector framework and implements storm water reduction and integrity management measures.


Swiss Entrepreneurship Program, Phase II

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program supports entrepreneurs in developing their growth-oriented businesses. They are the key drivers of innovation, economic growth and job creation.


Organic Trade 4 Development in Eastern Europe

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

The program aims at accelerating the market uptake of organic farming in Eastern Europe, Albania, Serbia, and Ukraine, by engaging in a partnership with the Swiss organic sourcing industry for the development of organic exports from the beneficiary countries and by fostering sustainable growth of the organic sector in line with IFOAM's vision 3.0.


Investment Council Albania (EBRD)

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021

The Investment Council (IC) Albania, led by the EBRD, is the main public-private dialogue platform for economic policy in Albania. This is where the Government, the private sector and the international community meet to discuss new regulatory frameworks related to economic development and where the business community has a voice.


Global Program for Intellectual Property Rights

01.03.2018 - 31.12.2024

Intellectual Property (IP) regimes are central to promoting innovation and the development of new goods, services and production methods. IP provides the incentive necessary to pursue further research and development, and creative works. Insofar, it is part of a sound foundation for a prosperous private sector and today's world trade system.


IFC Debt Resolution Program, Phase II

01.11.2017 - 31.03.2022

The Debt Resolution Program contributes to effective debt management frameworks in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo.


Regional Capacity Development Network for Water and Sanitation Services

01.05.2017 - 31.12.2020

Switzerland is a longstanding and important partner of public water supply providers in the Western Balkans. The Regional Capacity Development Network is a signficant additional contribution towards building a professional work force in the region required for a sustainable and inclusive provision of water and sanitation services to the population.


Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.


Solid Waste Management in Berat

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

SECO is supporting the Region of Berat in Albania including its municipalities Berat, Kuçovë, Poliçan, Skrapar and Ura Vajgurore, in improving quality, reliability and sustainability of its solid waste management (SWM) services. The support encompasses capacity development, technical assistance and Short Term SWM Measures.

Object 13 – 24 of 27