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. 

© 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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Skills for Jobs (S4J)

01.07.2023 - 30.06.2027

Albania is reforming its vocational education and training system to upgrade the students’ employability. S4J promotes work-based learning, digitalization and diversification of the VET offer, as per the labour market needs. To sustain the reform process, the exit phase consolidates the transfer of these innovative processes to additional VET providers and companies.


Skills Development for Employment (SD4E)

01.07.2023 - 30.06.2027

Albania is reforming the vocational education and training as well as employment services to increase people’s employability, particularly of women, youth as well as people with disabilities and low-income. This final phase puts the focus on strengthening the capacities of the line ministry and its subordinated national agencies as well as on consolidating, upscaling and transferring the developed policies and regulations as well as best practices to complete the reform process. 


Health for All (HAP)

01.04.2023 - 31.03.2027

The health sector in Albania is undergoing structural reforms. New models of service that integrate health and social care are approved and being implemented currently in small scale. Under the lead of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the project will facilitate the upscale of the new home care service at primary health care. The aim is to transform primary care to the specific needs of the poor and vulnerable population like the elderly, people with disabilities and mental health disorders. 


Albania: Sustainable Rural Development

01.02.2023 - 31.12.2026

Large potential for additional value creation exists in the agriculture sector and related activities in Albania. The project will develop innovative, economically viable and inclusive business models for market actors to leverage investment and ultimately increase income and employment for the population in rural areas, especially for women, young people and returnees.


Support to Parliament and Civic Education (PACEP)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027

The Albanian Parliament will improve its performance both, operationally and politically. Elections will be managed more transparently and efficiently. The system of checks and balances between the parliament, the government and independent institutions will be strengthened. Citizens will contribute and benefit from increased representation in parliament, responsible law making and stronger oversight. 


RisiAlbania, Making Labour Market Work for Youth

01.11.2021 - 31.12.2029

The last phase of RisiAlbania will continue to consolidate a functional labour market system that performs sustainably. The project will support businesses to grow through increased access to markets, competitiveness and resilience, leading to the creation of more and better jobs for young women and men. It will scale up its support for improving career intermediation, guidance as well as non-formal skills provision for youth to get access to jobs.


Leave No One Behind Project

01.08.2021 - 31.07.2025

Albania is building up its social protection system, with the vision of providing decentralized services. The importance of an effective social protection system has increased by the ongoing pandemic. The project covers part of the social protection system. Its 2nd phase scales up the reform roll-out. This Albania-Switzerland-UN’ effort collaborates with 50% of municipalities and strengthens their capacities to support 160’000 vulnerable people.


Shkollat për Shëndetin (SpS) - Schools for health

01.10.2019 - 28.02.2025

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for the highest mortality in the country. The program aims to reduce the exposure to the major risk factors for NCDs through improvement of lifestyle practices in schoolchildren and communities. Municipalities will be supported to develop sustainable models for health promotion and healthy environments at school. Cooperation between Ministries of Health and Education will be strengthened to establish framework conditions conducive to health.


Health for All Programme (HAP)

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2024

The Government of Albania is undertaking a reform to increase the quality and efficiency of public health services to respond to the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The project will support the elaboration of a primary health care strategy, health workforce management and quality improvement measures of service delivery for a better management of NCDs at primary health care. The aim is a higher satisfaction of users and a better health status of people covered.


Housing solutions for displaced persons

Apartment building in Serbia

01.03.2019 - 30.06.2024

As a consequence of the war in the 1990s, over three million people were displaced both within and beyond the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Twenty-five years after the Dayton Accords, the Western Balkans are still host to almost half a million vulnerable persons displaced by conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The Regional Housing Programme (RHP) aims to provide durable housing solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons in need.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Western Balkans
Migration
Forced displacement (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)

01.03.2019 - 30.06.2024


CHF  1’555’000



Albania: PACEP (Support to Parliament and Civic Education Project)

01.01.2018 - 31.03.2024

The Albanian Parliament will be supported to enhance the performance and professionalism of its administration and improve its representative, oversight and legislative functions. Educated citizens and engaged civil society contribute toward more accountability in decision making processes and benefit from a well-functioning parliament.


Albania: Bashki te Forta (Strong Municipalities)

01.06.2017 - 31.12.2023

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.

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