Albania is strongly committed to the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at its heart. They have been integrated into the national policy framework and inform its EU integration agenda. To support national efforts for meeting the requirements of sustainable development, Albania has also established strategic decision-making mechanisms – such as the Inter-ministerial Committee and Inter-institutional Working Group on SDGs.
Monitoring of progress in meeting the SDGs has been recorded through a baseline report on SDG mainstreaming (2017) and a Voluntary National Review (2018). At the same time, the national statistical agency, INSTAT, tracks SDG achievement on annual basis.
Yet, despite Albania’s strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda, challenges in meeting sustainable development targets remain. The country still experiences socio-economic disparities among population groups. Unemployment is high while the social protection system is weak, particularly in the provision of social care services, leaving vulnerable groups at great risk of being left behind.
Often, efforts of the Government of Albania to estimate the cost of meeting development goals and to identify financing options have been imperfect. In fact, in the process of its long transition process, well-intending laws and regulations have been approved, only to come to the conclusion that their financial effects were not properly calculated and provided for. Moreover, the consecutive crises of the November 2019 earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic worsened existing vulnerabilities and tightened the country’s fiscal space, making the Sustainable Development Agenda even more urgent.
The UN Joint Programme 'Support to SDG Financing'
The UN Joint Programme 'Strategic Policy Options for SDG Financing' aims to support SDG financing in Albania. Working in close collaboration with the Government of Albania, the Programme seeks to expand institutional capacities at the national and local level for developing feasible solutions and identifying fiscal space to progressively increase SDG-related spending in Albania and integrate these in the national budgetary framework.
It intends to bring about such change through solid evidence on the costs on non-investment on SDGs, through credible analysis and data on fiscal space, through the creation of tools for financing policies and regularly measuring the impact, and through strengthening the capacities of the SDG financing institutions, enabling a continuous national dialogue on SDG financing in Albania
The implementation of the Programme is expected to provide large scale results, reaching the most vulnerable part of the Albanian society, in particular children and women in the poorest locations.
- At the policy level, this project will continue to assist Albania in integrating the national financing for social protection floors into national policy, building upon the on-going UN-wide efforts.
- At the macro level, it will identify and assess the options to catalyze financing of unfunded mandates at the local government units and identify innovative approaches, tools and other financing mechanisms to pilot and evaluate the impact of fiscal policies related to social protection.
- At the capacity-support level, the JP would support a selected range of Albanian institutions to articulate, implement and review budgets that reflect increasing SDG related spending.
The Programme is implemented jointly by UNDP, UNICEF, and ILO, in close collaboration with UNFPA and UN WOMEN. The agencies will work with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Parliament of Albania, and other key institutions.
The project is funded by the UN Joint SDG Fund with global contributions from Denmark, European Union, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
A summarized brief on the Programme can be accessed here.
Detailed Information can be accessed here.
- UNDP: United Nations Development Programme
- UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Fund
- ILO: International Labour Organization
- UNFPA: United Nations Population Fund
- UN Women: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women