USAID partners with UNDP to Enhance Resilience of Albanian Communities

United States Agency for International Development in Albania (USAID/Albania) has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to strengthen the resilience of marginalized communities through a new project: Improving Community Resilience (ICR).

ICR is a three-year project, which will establish a model of support to marginalized communities in Albania affected by exclusion, discrimination, conflict, or abuse.  ICR will enhance the resilience of all people in Albania by ensuring those most underserved receive the support they need.

The project will be implemented in Durrës, Lezhë, and Kurbin.  ICR will support local government bodies to provide integrated social services including access to justice, healthcare, education, and social protection.  Local governments will work as part of a cohesive team in partnership with civil society organizations and pilot a model for integrated social care services, which can be replicated.

Mischere Kawas, Head of USAID/Albania, emphasized the focus of ICR:

“Our priority is to protect the rights and safety of communities most at risk of falling through the cracks: those affected by conflict, discrimination, and abuse. This is at the heart of the Improving Community Resilience project. Through close collaboration with local Albanian institutions, USAID and our partner UNDP will remove barriers to access services and establish an integrated, sustainable support system–so that no one in Albania is left behind.”

The project will also strengthen local prevention and protection mechanisms with a particular focus on women and girls who are impacted by violence.  Additionally, marginalized groups will increase their peer support networks to share best practices and support each other.  In addition, through authentic media engagement by members of these marginalized communities, all citizens of Durrës, Lezhë, and Kurbin will learn about the positive impact of the integrated social services platform in their communities.

Monica Merino, UNDP Resident Representative in Albania, said:

“We are happy for this new partnership with USAID to further the social inclusion, gender equality agenda in Albania. UNDP Albania is committed to working with national and local partners to promote social cohesion and strengthen social protection systems, as well as consolidate institutional mechanisms and integrated social services as per the needs of vulnerable women and men.”

ICR will be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, local governments, non-public actors, local CSOs, international development partners, and the media.

Over the next three years, ICR will make a significant contribution to the development of inclusive and resilient communities in Albania.

This project was made possible through the generous support of the American people through USAID.