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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

II. Country Assessment--Albania


U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Central and Eastern Europe
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
January 2007
Report
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Country Overview 

Country Facts
  • Map of AlbaniaArea: 11,100 sq mi (28,748 sq km) slightly smaller than Maryland 
  • Population: 3,581,655 (2006 est.) 
  • Population Growth Rate: 0.52% (2006 est.) 
  • Life Expectancy: Male 74.78 yrs., Female 80.34 yrs. (2006 est.) 
  • Infant Mortality:20.75 deaths/1,000 live births 
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $ 18.97 billion (purchasing power parity; 2005 est.) 
  • GDP Per Capita Income: $ 2,550 (2005 est.) 
  • Real GDP Growth: 5.5% (2005 est.) 

Overview of U.S. Government Assistance

In FY 2006, the USG provided an estimated $39.73 million in assistance to Albania, including:

  • $7.79 million in democratic reform programs; 
  • $6.43 million in economic reform programs; 
  • $0.50 million in humanitarian programs; 
  • $4.67 million in social reform programs; 
  • $15.25 million in security, regional stability, and law enforcement programs; and 
  • $5.09 million in cross-sector and other programs. 

FY 2006 Assistance Overview

U.S. STRATEGIC INTERESTS & FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES

Albania continues to be a strong ally of the U.S. in the Global War on Terror, exhibited by the deployment of troops into Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the European Union (EU) stabilization force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The country plays a vital, moderating role in the Balkans, encouraging ethnic integration and promoting peace and stability. However, chronic poverty, weak democratic institutions, ineffective social services, endemic corruption, and lingering internal stability concerns require carefully targeted U.S. and international support. Broad-based support for Albania's democratic institutions and Euro-Atlantic integration is fundamental to preserving and enhancing the country's positive influence in the region and advancing the U.S. foreign policy goal of peace and security in the Balkans.

FOREIGN ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

U.S. foreign assistance supports Albania's efforts to implement necessary reforms for integration with Euro-Atlantic institutions. USG-funded programs focus on Albania's transition to a market economy and a democracy based on the rule of law, and on the Government of Albania's (GOA) capacity to provide social stability. Energy sector reform, anti-corruption activities, religious harmonization, and anti-trafficking in persons initiatives complement the overall assistance program in Albania. The success of the U.S. assistance program will have a substantial impact on the GOA's capacity and ability to make crucial reforms that will determine Albania's hoped-for accession into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Albania's integration in the European community will serve as a significant force toward a peaceful and stable Balkan region, a key U.S. foreign policy priority.

OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

The formation of the new Democratic Party (DP) led government under Prime Minister Sali Berisha has shown significant commitment to the anti-corruption campaign platform that provided the party with an election mandate last year. Albania's Threshold Country Program was approved by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in February 2006, and the two-year anti-corruption-focused program, which addresses the key areas of public procurement, tax administration, and business registration, was launched in September. However, poor economic infrastructure, especially energy with the reliance on hydroelectric power, had an adverse effect on GDP growth in 2006.

COUNTRY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Albanian Democratic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Albania's democratic performance during FY 2005. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2005 performance levels, while the two dark lines indicate how each country compares in its progress vis-�-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria - the "threshold countries" - were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and, (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country's performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006). Found online at: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country_progress/index.html.

Graph shows Albanian Democratic Reform:  Average of Romania and Bulgaria-2002, corruption, 2.2; electoral process, 3.3; civil society, 3.7; independent media, 3.2; governance/public admin, 3.4; rule of law, 2.8

The graph above shows Albania's democratic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's democratic reform scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and receive favorable indications of future EU membership.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

Graph shows Albanian Democratic Reform: 1999, corruption, 2.2; electoral process, 3.3; civil society, 3.7; independent media, 3.2; governance/public admin, 3.4; rule of law, 2.8

The graph above shows Albania's democratic reform scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its democratic reform scores in 1999. For example, Albania has made some progress in all areas with the largest gain in Governance and Public Administration.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available. 

Albanian Economic Reform

The "radar" or "spider web" graphs below illustrate Albania's economic performance during 2005. Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 representing the greatest advancement. These charts provide a disaggregated look at each of the indices and are reported to Congress on a regular basis. The gray shaded area represents 2005 performance levels, while the two dark line indicates how each country compares in its progress vis-�-vis two standards: (1) the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's performance in each indicator as of 2002 (2002 was the year that Romania and Bulgaria - the "threshold countries" - were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership); and (2) where the country stood in each indicator in 1999. Together, these charts provide a broad picture of where remaining gaps are in a country's performance, and to what extent these gaps are being filled. For more information, including a detailed explanation of each indicator shown in the graph, see USAID/E&E/PO, "Monitoring Country Progress in Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia," No. 10 (August 2006). Found online at: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/country_progress/index.html.

Graph shows Albanian Economic Reform: Average of Romania and Bulgaria-2002, external debt percent GDP, 4.5; private sector share, 4.5; share of employment in SMEs, 5.0; export share of GDP, 0.5; FDI pc cumulative, 2.0; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 5.0; 3yr avg inflation, 5.0


The graph above shows Albania's economic performance scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to the average of Romania's and Bulgaria's economic performance scores in 2002 (the bold line) when they were invited to join NATO and received favorable indications of future EU membership.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.


 

Graph shows Albanian Economic Reform: 1999, external debt percent GDP, 4.5; private sector share, 4.5; export share of GDP, 0.5; FDI pc cumulative, 2.0; GDP as percent 1989 GDP, 5.0; 3yr avg inflation, 5.0

The graph above shows Albania's economic performance scores in 2005* (the gray shaded area) as compared to its economic performance scores in 1999. For example, Albania has made progress in four of the six areas and no changes in private sector share and export share of GDP.

*Actual 2006 scores not yet available.

FY 2006 Country Program Performance

GOVERNING JUSTLY AND DEMOCRATICALLY

In FY 2006, Albania extended a trend of gradual improvement in democratic governance and continued modest progress on decentralization. The overall picture in terms of democratic governance, however, is mixed; Albania's record of implementing and enforcing laws is poor relative to the new EU members of Romania and Bulgaria. Improvement in civic development was weaker in comparison to last year's elections-driven growth. Under pressure to make good on its election mandate, the new Government has pushed a number of organizational, legislative, political, and financial initiatives aimed at tackling corruption. Many of those initiatives have been frustrated and positive results have been elusive. Public perceptions of corruption remain high relative to other countries in the region.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

A main U.S. assistance priority in Albania is to bring government performance and accountability up to NATO and EU standards by targeting selected public institutions, local (city) governments, as well as various judicial entities and groups in civil society. In FY 2006 the USG focused on both the 'demand' and the 'supply' side of the assistance equation. On the demand or societal side, U.S. assistance worked with nongovernmental organizations, media, professional associations, and political parties to help focus public pressure on Albanian institutions to enforce laws aimed at better governance. On the supply or institutional side, U.S. support provided direct technical assistance to local governments to build their capacity to assume the service provision functions delegated to them under decentralization laws. The USG also provided assistance to improve the rule of law, with emphasis on such anti-corruption measures as asset disclosure, conflict of interest, freedom of information, and judicial inspection.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

In FY 2006, the USG's local government and decentralization programworked to enhance the legal framework that increases the authority and fiscal autonomy of local governments. The program assisted local municipalities to develop plans to improve local service delivery, such as wastewater, garbage collection and disposal, street cleaning, educational facilities, and roads. The program also supported activities to strengthen municipality organizations, such as the Albanian Association of Municipalities, to ensure sustainable assistance to cities throughout the country.

The USG-funded democracy and governance program focused on civic advocacy and monitoring, investigative media, and political party assistance. USG assistance was designed to consolidate democratization by promoting advocacy among NGOs pushing for anti-corruption and public sector reform. The Civic Forum worked with volunteers to pressure local government for better accountability and services. Media activities were primarily aimed at raising professional standards for investigative and local journalism through targeted assistance to reporters and media outlets. The democracy and governance program also supported young political leaders' participation in USG-funded seminars on gender issues and party financing.

Programs to improve and uphold the rule of law in Albania had a two-fold approach toward fighting corruption. The first was an institutional approach that targeted specific state institutions such as the judicial inspectorates or the High Inspectorate for the Declaration and Audit of Assets (HIDAA). The second was a societal approach that assisted watchdog groups, such as the Citizen's Advocacy Office (CAO), to increase the demand for government action and accountability and to support professional associations. USG assistance also provided technical support to the GOA to assist with the implementation of targeted anti-corruption laws. Grant programs administered by the USG in FY 2006 funded projects to support the elections and to improve local governance and citizen participation.

In FY 2006, USG-funded programs engaged religious and community leaders in addressing intolerance and conflict. The project helped media and opinion leaders counter arguments of intolerance that run contrary to values embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Another project worked with students to help them understand civic values and religious tolerance.

USG media development programs focused on instilling sound business practices in the media, particularly in the areas of marketing-related human resources management and marketing/sales techniques for two major television stations. The programs also worked to increase media independence and professionalism.

OUTPUTS

Working with the Interior and Finance Ministries, the USG crafted key financial management and budget rules buttressed by a city-to-city road show to provide a forum for central government officials to discuss new fiscal procedures with their local counterparts. Designed by the USG and local officials throughout Albania, service improvement action plans (SIAP) were implemented in 23 municipalities to improve key services such as sanitation, street cleaning or water provision. This year produced a total of ten SIAPs on road and sidewalk maintenance; 20 SIAPs on cleaning and solid waste collection; four SIAPs on water service improvement; 11 SIAPs on public lighting service; and ten SIAPs on administrative procedures improvement.

The democracy and governance program continued to support NGOs, independent media and political parties throughout Albania. The USG-supported investigative news show "Hapur" produced over 40 episodes and 110 investigative segments broadcasted on 19 local stations. The newly created Union of Albanian Journalist organized, with USG assistance, six regional conferences around Albania establishing formal local Union branches. The political party support program organized three seminars on party financing. The Political Reform and Leadership Academy worked to strengthen the political skills of 75 participants, who in turn trained over 500 fellow party members in 18 training sessions and workshops. These activities engaged over 2,400 citizens in 132 communities across the country.

USG's efforts to promote the rule of law entered an intensive training phase in 2006, reaching hundreds of officials in both Tirana and the regions. This massive training effort coincided with U.S. support for the implementation of conflict of interest, asset disclosure, freedom of information, and judicial inspection laws. The USG conducted more than 25 training seminars in most major cities in FY 2006, which collectively affected approximately 600 local and central officials carrying out the new conflict of interest law. These officials included auditors employed at the High Inspectorate as well as "representative authorities" - a myriad of officials that represent ministries in the regions and local officials. In addition, the USG reached out to 150 NGOs to solicit innovative corruption fighting and advocacy approaches and made a total of 33 small grant awards.

Three USG grants addressed pressing needs identified by Albanian NGOs to help general elections better meet international standards and to increase citizens' participation (especially women) in the electoral process. As an example, 1,400 citizens in five cities participated in public debates on the electoral platforms of candidates.

In FY 2006, USG assistance trained 160 municipal and community officials in decentralization legislation, public procurement, and ethical behavior. A Citizens Complaint Box was inaugurated in the Pogradec Municipality. Additionally, a U.S. speaker, a city manager with expertise in local government and environmental protection, advised leaders and citizens.

USG programs provided vocational training to 30 Roma children in Korca; 60 Roma participated in seminars and meetings with local authorities to draft action plans for improving their living standards; and Korca Human Rights NGOs' organized four public debates on issues related to human trafficking, freedom of information, the environment, and consumer rights. In addition, a speaker on civil rights provided advocacy strategies to a group representing Albania's Balkano-Egyptians, an ethnic minority group.

USG assistance provided training and small grants to faith-based organizations to facilitate the design and implementation of projects that benefit the entire community, regardless of faith orientation. This assistance reached nearly 1,500 people in seven target cities, including Albania's top religious leaders, counterparts from throughout South Eastern Europe, local religious leaders participating in Interfaith Advisory Committees, journalists learning to better report on religious issues, adults gaining job skills at interfaith centers, multi-faith youth teams engaged in community development projects, and children designing artwork for a forthcoming interfaith calendar. The USG supported the State Committee on Cults to develop agreements between the state and religious communities. This project also organized interfaith youth summer camps for 87 young religious activists from targeted cities, giving youth opportunities to learn from and about one another. The project reached out a broader audience through a documentary on Albania's interfaith heritage that was aired 22 times on national and local television stations.

More than 1,300 students were exposed to civic values through the religious tolerance project, which established a precedent for such values to become a standard part of the curriculum in all religious schools. The project helped set the stage for cooperation and active participation in civic-oriented activities in local communities, with a particular emphasis on universal and civic values, as well as on contributions by both the educational community and religious community on the local and national level.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

Through a grant to a leading media institute, 15 reporters of leading national print and broadcast outlets were trained in investigative reporting practices. At the end of the project, a manual on investigative journalism was produced, which the University of Tirana now uses for 80 journalism students. Two major television stations that received training in management and marketing/sales reported a 10-20% increase in marketing revenues compared to the previous year. Hands-on training in management, marketing, and investigative reporting contributed to more balanced news coverage of political events. The program-supported outlets are beginning to see a positive trend in their balance sheets, thus increasing competition and contributing to better quality news production and more consumer-oriented programming.

Fiscal autonomy indicators have responded positively to Albania's decentralization efforts. USG assistance expedited the fiscal decentralization process by producing improved procedures and increased local government discretion. USG assistance worked closely with stakeholders to craft a local borrowing law, an important decentralization step, allowing local government access to credit. The program also collaborated with stakeholders in drafting an organic budget law codifying financial management and budget practices. The efforts to strengthen local governance experienced substantial successes in FY 2006 with the improvement of municipal services in target cities throughout Albania.

USG efforts to promote democratic governance have yielded weaker-than-expected performance in civic development, but scored significant gains in the program's media component. In early FY 2006, newly elected Prime Minister Berisha agreed to have the Albanian Coalition Against Corruption (ACAC) monitor the implementation of the conflict of interest law; but this has yet to occur, and the USG-funded coalition of 30 organizations has struggled with success and sustainability. The USG's civic forum activity worked with volunteers to pressure local governments for better accountability and services, resulting in some local decisions to pave a needed road or install a water line; but the project results are localized and transient, and overall performance has been disappointing. Political party assistance generated little impact in FY 2006 with no signs of improved transparency in party financing or an increase in female candidates for local offices. Conversely, the USG's efforts to raise professional standards for investigative and local journalism saw significant achievements with the expansion of the Albanian investigative TV news show "Hapur" and the creation of the first Albanian journalist union. The independent television network of eight local stations was expanded to include outlets in two more cities.

The USG-supported High Inspectorate for the Declaration and Audit of Assets (HIDAA) moved closer to fulfilling its mandate in FY 2006 by signing memoranda of understanding with the Anti-Money Laundering Unit in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. HIDAA has yielded compliance with disclosure requirements and a more pervasive audit culture with only 68 public employees fined for failure to disclose on time, of the 4,000 required to file in FY 2006. In response to the USG's efforts with the Freedom of Information law, the GOA has offered to install public information offices in the ministries as a means to boost its enforcement. The Citizen's Advocacy Office (CAO) expanded its presence by opening a third regional office and now opens 50 new cases of alleged corrupt activities per month dealing with administrative bodies, judicial bodies, and private matters, including anti-corruption initiatives. The USG and Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) jointly assisted Albania with the establishment of a new Code of Ethics for journalists, along with a Press Council to promote its application among journalists, editors, and media owners.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Governing Justly and Democratically. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator: Civil Society Index. This indicator assesses the growth of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), their organizational capacity and financial sustainability, and the legal and political environment in which they function, the development of free trade unions, and interest group participation in the policy process. (7-point scale: 1 indicates a very advanced NGO sector, 7 indicates a weak NGO sector) Source: Freedom House, Nations in Transit 2005. The 2005 rank is based on 2004 data. Found online: www.freedomhouse.org/research/nattransit.htm.

CY 2003 Baseline

CY 2004 Rank

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

3.75

3.50

3.25

3.0



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: Albania's improvement in the Civil Society Index reflects progress in the increasing role of watchdog organizations. USG support, through the program for NGO advocacy groups, such as the Albanian Coalition Against Corruption (ACAC) and Citizen's Advocacy Office (CAO), supported the progress in this indicator.

Performance Indicator: Corruption Index 2006. The Corruption Index measures public perceptions of corruption, the business interests of top policy makers, laws on financial disclosure and conflict of interest, and the efficiency of anticorruption initiatives. The Corruption Index is based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of progress and 7 the lowest. The 2006 ratings reflect the period January 1 through December 31, 2005. Source: Freedom House, Nations in Transit 2006. Found online: http://www.freedomhouse.hu/pdfdocs/albania2006.pdf

CY 2004 Baseline

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Rank

CY 2007 Target

5.25

5.25

5.25

5.00


Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: USG assistance programs yielded specific results, including increased financial disclosure by Government officials, but did not affect the public's overall perception of corruption as an issue, resulting in a static indicator. The USG-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold program, which is targeting anti-corruption, is expected to have a positive impact on this performance indicator in 2007.

Economic Growth

In FY 2006, Albania continued to achieve significant economic growth, largely as a result of macroeconomic stability and growing migrant remittances. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) experienced a healthy 5% expansion and per capita GDP increased to over $2,550 in 2005. The budget deficit fell to 3.8%, inflation held steady at 2%, and the number of Albanians living in poverty was reduced to 18%, down from 25%. While these accomplishments are impressive, Albania remains one of the poorest countries in Europe and its per capita income is still among the lowest in the Balkans. Additionally, high unemployment rates in rural areas, a widening trade deficit, and the lowest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region, continued to pose substantial economic challenges in FY 2006. The Government of Albania has shown an increased commitment to economic reform by signing a free trade agreement (FTA) this year with the EU as part of its Stabilization and Association Agreement negotiation, and existing FTAs with countries in the region are being converted into a single agreement through the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA).

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

In FY 2006, USG assistance promoted sustainable growth by addressing constraints to private enterprise development, decreasing the trade deficit, increasing FDI, creating employment, and reducing poverty. While progress has been made in these areas, significant challenges continue to suppress economic growth including weak competitive capacity, limited access to commercial credit, the unfavorable business environment caused by widespread corruption, the high cost of business registration, poor and unreliable infrastructure, and inconsistent application of fiscal laws and regulations. The FY 2006 USG assistance program addressed these challenges by focusing resources in four priority areas: improving economic policy and the business environment; improving private sector competitiveness; strengthening the financial services sector and increasing access to capital; and expanding and improving access to economic and social infrastructure.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

USG assistance to improve the business environment for private sector-led growth and investment included the provision of technical assistance to strengthen the government's capacity to formulate and implement sound trade policies. In addition, assistance sponsored private-public dialogues on trade issues and worked with the private sector to encourage the GOA to streamline administrative and regulatory procedures to reduce the cost of doing business.

Private sector competitiveness programsprovided technical assistance and training in technological innovations, business management, and marketing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to strengthen their competitiveness in the domestic and international markets. USG assistance focused principally on improving productivity and product quality, business expansion, and diversification and development of sound marketing strategy.

The USG facilitated SMEs' access to commercial credit through microfinance and small business activities and the Development Credit Authority program. The Bank of Albania, Deposit Insurance Agency and Insurance Supervisory Authority were assisted to improve the financial regulatory environment and public confidence in the banking system and to provide a more secure and transparent financial system.

The USG supported the implementation of the national energy strategy to stimulate sustainable economic growth by improving the availability, efficiency, and reliability of the energy supply. USG efforts focused on regulatory environment improvement through strengthening the capacity of the Electricity Regulatory Entity (ERE) as a fully independent and transparent regulatory body. The state-owned Albanian Power Corporation was assisted in developing its financial and operational management capacities for effective participation in the Energy Community for South East Europe (ECSEE) and for the unbundling of its generation, transmission, and distribution assets into independent companies.

The USG provided the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Central Bank of Albania with a full-time advisor on debt management, focusing on debt strategy and refinancing risk. The USG also provided a full-time advisor to assist and support the Ministry of Finance through its Fight against Money Laundering (FAML) directorate and its sub-agency, the Administration of Sequestered and Confiscated Assets (AASCA), the High Inspectorate for Declaration and Audit of Assets (HIDAA), and the Supreme Audit Institute. A grant and a speaker program also operated to support business/economic development and strengthen market institutions.

OUTPUTS

The USG-funded Albanian Center for International Trade (ACIT) provided assistance to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Energy (METE) on trade policy and economic development under an agreement between the USG and METE. During FY 2006, the ACIT Resource Center provided trade information to over 250 people who visited its premises and/or communicated by email, and its web pages had a total of about 50,500 visits, compared to 31,000 visits in FY 2005. ACIT published several research papers, organized workshops and conferences in Tirana and major cities to engage public-private dialogues on trade issues, and supported the government's efforts to reduce administrative barriers hindering business activities. In May 2006, the Parliament amended the business registration procedures to require that an initial response from the government be provided to applicants within eight days of the original request.

In FY 2006, over 13,000 SMEs received USG assistance to improve their competitiveness. USG-funded projects trained approximately 2,600 people in the technology, management, and marketing arenas, an 89% increase from FY 2005. Thirteen footwear manufacturers received training in product marketing and understanding the retail market environment. USG-funded programs also trained tour operators, travel agents, restaurants and hotels in product development, customer services, branding, and the application of information technology

One USG project provided 2,500 high school students from northern Albania with business training by partnering them with 546 local businesses and 61 teachers. A USG speaker helped initiate the first-ever debate on business ethics with over 100 business students and 120 business and government representatives.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

In FY 2006, USG assistance contributed to improvement of economic policy and overall business environment for private sector-led growth and investment, and made reliable trade information services available and accessible to the private sector. For example, in FY 2006, the GOA successfully signed an FTA with the EU under the Stability and Association Agreement. The FTAs with countries in the region are being converted into a single FTA through the CEFTA enlargement. With assistance from the USG supported Albanian Center for International Trade (ACIT), the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Energy (METE) carried out studies of the CEFTA impact on Albania's economy and followed up with public awareness campaigns. ACIT has become a principal source of trade information serving not only the Albanian government and private sector but also the international donor community (World Bank, IMF, EBRD, OECD, etc.).

In FY 2006, SMEs supported by USG assistance improved their competitiveness in the domestic and international markets. The assistance helped meat and dairy processors improve productivity and product quality, and to diversify their production. Several herb and spice exporters and olive oil processors received bio-certification for their products from internationally recognized certifying organizations. One meat processor obtained ISO 9001 certification for his products. Certified products received premium prices, averaging 15% more than non-certified ones. The 2006 domestic sales tripled those of 2005, and exports increased by 26%. Additionally, USG assistance helped Albanians ship their fresh vegetables to the United Kingdom, Norway and Serbia, their olive oil to Croatia and Switzerland, and their processed meat to Kosovo. The external trade promotion efforts included identification of and contact with buyers in the Balkans, North America and Western Europe. The training of Albanian tour guides in Cyprus led to the establishment of the first professional tour guide association and the improvement of the tourist guide services in Albania. The first database of the Albanian footwear industry was completed resulting in the online web portal "Albanian Leather/Footwear Industry," which is hosted by ACIT and serves as an informational and communicative marketing tool.

In FY 2006, the USG assisted SMEs to obtain close to 100 loans from commercial banks with a total value of $3.8 million, a 77% increase from FY 2005, and over 9,700 loans from non-bank sources with a total value of $27.4 million. SMEs also had the opportunity, through USG efforts, to access larger size loans. The participating bank, Raiffeisen Bank of Albania, disbursed eight loans for a total value of over $1.3 million.

In FY 2006, the USG micro-lending program achieved operational and financial self-sufficiency and received an A+ rating for a microfinance institution from an internationally recognized rater. This program's impact has touched a large number of Albanians living in the rural areas and the minority groups (Roma and Egyptian), thus contributing to poverty reduction. USG assistance was instrumental to the Bank of Albania's decision to build and operate its own in-house credit registry system by year-end 2007. The 22% increase in bank deposits indicates the growing confidence of the public in the banking system. The flow of commercial credit to the private sector continued to increase.

The USG efforts to improve the GOA capacity for restructuring the energy sector progressed well in FY 2006. Immediate results of the program included the approval of the 2006 electricity tariffs; approval of the transmission tariff based on new methodologies and models; approval of the Regulation on General Terms and Standards of Power Purchase Agreements; the licensing of one qualified energy supplier and 13 independent power producers. ERE continued to prepare and approve the secondary legislation and regulations in compliance with the Power Sector Law. As a country committed to the regional energy market, the GOA signed the ECSEE Treaty in the beginning of FY 2006 establishing the energy community of the South-East European countries, and the Albanian Parliament ratified the Treaty on April 3, 2006. The GOA continued to engage in regional energy activities, such as the Energy Regulators Regional Association by participating in 14 association activities and three ECSEE Treaty activities.

With USG support, the MOF successfully introduced a new five-year treasury bond to the market in November 2006. The five-year bond will significantly increase the ability of the MOF to extend the average maturity of domestic debt, sharply mitigating portfolio rollover risk. With USG assistance, the MOF wrote a new debt strategy which the Ministry will use in managing various risks associated with both the domestic and external debt portfolios.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below two important indicators in the area of Economic Growth. In the charts, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator: Number of Procedures and Days Needed to Start a Business. The World Bank's Doing Business Database provides measures of business regulations and their enforcement for 145 economies, such as the number of procedures and the number of days to start a business, among others. The database is used by the World Bank to assess the investment climate. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) also uses the "number of days to start a business" as a measure of economic freedom in selecting recipient countries for MCA. On average, it takes a business in a developed nation six procedures and 27 days to get started. Source: World Bank Report, Doing Business 2005. The CY 2005 rank below is based on data collected in 2004. Found online: cdie.usaid.gov/esds/sources.cfm.

FY 2004 Baseline

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

11 procedures/47 days

11 procedures/41 days

7 procedures/30 days



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: The CY 2005 rank on this performance indicator, which is based on data collected in 2004, reveals only a modest improvement in the number of days to register a business. The high cost of registration and licensing has impeded the growth of SMEs and discouraged domestic and foreign investments in Albania. However, in FY 2006, the USG worked with the private sector to encourage the GOA to streamline administrative and regulatory procedures and undertake policy reforms in order to reduce the cost of doing business. As a result, in May 2006, the Parliament amended the business registration procedures to require that an initial response from the government be provided to applicants within eight days of the original request. This indicator is expected to improve in FY 2007.

Performance Indicator: Index of Economic Freedom. The Index ranks 161 countries against a list of 50 independent variables divided into ten broad factors including trade policy, fiscal burden, government intervention, monetary policy, foreign investment, banking and finance, wages and prices, property rights, regulation, and black market. All Factors of Economic Freedom are measured on a scale of 1 to 5. A score of 1 indicates policies most conducive to economic freedom, and a score of 5 indicates policies that are the least conducive. The Overall Score is an average of all ten factors and follows the same scaling. Source: 2006 Index of Economic Freedom. Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal, November 2005. Found online: www.heritage.org/research/features/index.

CY 2003 Baseline

CY 2004 Score

CY 2005 Score

CY 2006 Target

3.27

3.1

2.93

2.87



Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: Albania's economic freedom index score and ranking have improved steadily since 2003. In 2006, Albania performed better than Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria. USG assistance activities promoting competitiveness, trade policy reform, anti-corruption and property ownership rights influenced the improvement in score.

Investing in People

Health sector reforms continued to gain momentum in Albania with improvements in primary health care (PHC) and family planning activities reaching encouraging levels in FY 2006. An increase in the quality of care, as well as impressive expansion in PHC availability, led to upgrades in several of the country's health services indicator scores. The GOA showed a commitment to reforms as indicated by the expansion of the health information system and notable movements in the process to reform health financing in primary heath care. The Ministry of Health (MOH) signed a decree approving the Health Insurance Institute (HII) as the single source for health financing, setting the framework for significant health finance reform. Despite these improvements, challenges continue to exist. With the expansion of the health information system, the quality of the information needs to improve and equally important is the system's routine usage. Family planning activities resulted in progress in the use of modern contraception and health facility visits but Albania's infant mortality rate experienced only a minor improvement in FY 2006 and remains a concern. Avian Influenza continued to be a threat to Albania and was closely monitored by the USG, international donors, and the GOA.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

The USG assistance priorities in Albanian health care remained improving the quality of primary health care; improving financial management within the health care sector; and promoting the use of modern contraception to reduce the reliance on pregnancy termination. Additionally, the USG continued to coordinate with other international donors to increase the GOA's capacity to address the threat Avian Influenza poses to the population and agricultural industry.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

The USG-funded program to improve primary health care in Albania worked with the MOH, HII, Faculty of Medicine, Order of Physicians, and local government health authorities to improve primary health care. The program initiated individual activities to improve primary health care delivery and supported the GOA's move toward health care reform. The program assisted the GOA to define a realistic, evidence-based, and affordable set of essential primary health care services, and to identify the related provider roles that meet the needs of Albania's rural and urban populations. Immediate goals included improvements in the quality of service, the financial management of health facilities, the training of doctors and nurses, and the utilization of services resulting from an increased demand and awareness.

USG-supported family planning activities worked to expand family planning services, strengthen the Contraceptive Logistics Management Information System (LMIS), and to design and implement the contraceptive security policy, in cooperation with the MOH and other health institutions. The project also focused on improving family planning services at the primary health care level in both urban and rural areas. Public awareness campaigns were carried out to increase the use of modern family planning methods.

USG assistance responded quickly to the GOA's pressing need for personal protective equipment and supplies in response to the threat of Avian Influenza in 2006. The initiative also included a communication campaign in coordination with UN agencies to increase popular awareness of the threat.

The USG worked to promote independent living skills of people with disabilities by building wheelchairs and providing training in their use, building the advocacy capacity for people with disabilities, and working with the GOA to improve related legislation and strategies.

The USG worked in conjunction with the MOH and the Institute of Public Health to place Peace Corps Volunteers in rural health centers as well as with nursing schools and NGOs. Volunteers worked with their local colleagues to promote awareness of issues such as drug abuse, maternal and child health, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, sanitation and hygiene, and other health issues. These efforts complemented other health education efforts underway in Albania, including those facilitated by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

OUTPUTS

Primary health care provider training was a basic component of USG assistance in FY 2006. Training was conducted with 386 doctors in family medicine modules, and 1,250 nurses attended 11 continuing education courses throughout the year. Community-based health promotion, using the civic forum model, was launched in 80 communities. The USG conducted trainings for almost 9,900 nurses and 165 family planning providers. In late FY 2006, a collaborative effort between the MOH, the National Center for Quality Safety and Accreditation of Health Institutions, and the USG launched a process of establishing an accreditation program for neo-natal resuscitation. Initial trainings were conducted for 125 persons in four targeted hospitals.

The health management information system was distributed to all 258 health centers and the associated 979 health posts, and the USG funded trainings in the 215 health centers and their approximately 800 associated health posts. A team of 33 trainers from two pilot health centers carried out 104 seminars training nearly 2,250 doctors and nurses on the new system. Additionally, a quality measurement tool was introduced in 61 new health centers, bringing the total number of health centers utilizing the tool to 123. The tool was used to identify 627 problems and resolve 354.

USG assistance supported the production and distribution of 156 wheelchairs. Recipients were also given training on care, usage, and other independent living skills. Six people with disabilities received job training and employment through this activity. Thirty-five wheelchair users and their family members got intensive rehabilitation and training. Forty wheelchair users participated in two training sessions organized on disability rights and legislation, social model of disability, the right to family life and personal integrity.

In 2006, the Peace Corps Health Education project included 16 Volunteers serving 12 different communities. Volunteers' activities involved over 2000 individuals, over 190 service providers (such as nurses, midwives and doctors) and strengthened over 30 different organizations.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

USG health care support has significantly improved the quality and availability of health services in Albanian target populations. The number of PHC centers with one or more improved services and/or management features has increased to over 1,200 from 525 in 2005. Utilization of improving health centers has increased along with advancing levels of family planning activities. Percentages of married women, ages 15 to 44, with three or more pre-natal visits increased significantly in FY 2006. The rise in family planning activities is clearly illustrated by the increasing use of modern contraceptives among married women within the three monitored regions, now estimated at 17% and averaging a % annual increase. The Family Planning Activity reached a milestone in 2006 with 100% of the PHC facilities now offering these services in all 36 districts. The contraceptive LMIS has also been revitalized and expanded throughout the country.

Through USG support, achievements toward improving the health information system were impressive with the expansion of the reporting and data entry system throughout five of the twelve prefectures in Albania. Initial data from the new system revealed close to 250,000 encounters by health center and health post staff, roughly translating to an annual average of three million encounters. The capacity to electronically manage this level of data is an extraordinary step forward in the Albanian health system. The GOA exhibited a commitment to moving forward with the new system by procuring 40 new computers, refurbishing physical facilities for the data centers and relocated existing staff and hired new staff to serve as data entry specialists.

Health financing reform continues to experience positive movement but requires constant dialogue with government officials as the topic remains politically charged. Successful framework development in FY 2006 of the single source financing approach was a substantial step forward.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers better understand whether specific assistance programs are making their intended impact and, if necessary, how to adjust these programs to improve the impact.

Please find below an important indicator in the area of Investing in People. In the chart, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," or January 1 - December 31.

Performance Indicator: Infant Mortality. This indicator gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year; included is the total death rate. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. Source: CIA World Factbook 2006. Data presented is as of September 2006. Found online: www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook.

FY 2003 Baseline

FY 2005 Rank

FY 2006 Rank

FY 2007 Target

37.74 deaths/1,000 live births

21.52 deaths/1,000 live births

20.75 deaths/1,000 live births

15 deaths/1,000 live births

 

Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: USG assistance has had a significant impact on the reduction of the infant mortality rate in Albania. The program's efforts to improve the quality and availability of PHC, resulting in increased pre-natal visits and utilization of family planning activities, have demonstrated the positive influence on PHC services provided. The expansion of the health information system has meant that more Albanians are receiving better health care as result of the USG programs.

Peace and Security

The GOA is a strong supporter of the Global War on Terror (GWOT), deploying combat troops to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Lebanon. Albania's efforts to reform its military in line with NATO standards will support its ability to continue this contribution. Despite foreign assistance, however, Albanian forces face significant challenges in their efforts to reform and modernization, including significant equipment shortfalls and training required to build a fully NATO compatible force.

Organized crime and corruption remain two of the biggest threats to Albania's stability and the sustainability of its law enforcement institutions. Organized crime in particular exacts an enormous toll on the rule of law, the economy, and the nation's prospects for the future, including NATO accession. Existing law enforcement institutions in Albania have not adequately addressed this major challenge for many reasons, including corruption and lack of sophisticated investigative techniques. The GOA has made solid progress in securing its borders and improving its interdiction capabilities as part of its plan for combating corruption.

U.S. ASSISTANCE PRIORITIES

In FY 2006, USG funding concentrated on bringing Albania's military forces up to the standards necessary for eventual NATO membership. USG efforts also focused on: combating organized crime; enhancing police integrity and accountability; fighting trafficking in persons, narcotics and other contraband; and raising the professionalism and effectiveness of the Albanian State Police (ASP). USG programs worked to stem trafficking by continuing to improve border controls. The training of police, prosecutors, and judges remained a high priority. Security programs worked to increase the efficiency and coordination of processes between police and prosecutors in order to increase the conviction rate.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

USG foreign military funding and defense readiness assistance acted as the foundations for Albanian contributions to U.S. operations in Iraq, NATO operations in Afghanistan, and the EU mission in Bosnia. The Albanian Armed Forces (AAF), through the National Military Strategy, continued to make progress in its planned ten-year transition from a post-Communist force with extremely limited capabilities and dangerously outdated stockpiles of arms and ammunition, to a modern, mobile military suitable for Albania's defense needs and future NATO membership. However, the GOA remained financially unable to meet NATO standards or modernize without foreign advice and assistance. To meet these needs, the USG provided defense reform advisors, equipment support, supplementary deployment funds, and training to improve Albanian peacekeeping capacity.

OUTPUTS

In FY 2006, USG assistance contributed to the destruction of thousands of tons of weapons. A portion of this funding supported a British initiative to destroy 25,000 small arms/light weapons and up to 3,000 tons of ammunition.

In a series of regional seminars between June 2005 and June 2006, the USG and European counterparts trained Albanian prosecutors on asset forfeiture, special investigative means, public and private corruption, witness protection, and new statutes criminalizing membership in criminal organizations, terrorist organizations, armed gangs, and structured criminal groups. The training was conducted with the Magistrate's School, the graduate training institution for judges and prosecutors.

The USG funded two separate anti-trafficking initiatives in Albania. The first program worked to reduce child trafficking by focusing on identification and assistance to at-risk children and families, raising awareness of child trafficking among children and communities, and assistance in the return and reintegration of trafficked children to their families. In FY 2006 the USG expanded the program to build the capacity of the GOA and local Albanian organizations to establish child protection structures. The second program improved coordination of prevention activities and programs for victims between civil society and government, as well as among civil society organizations.

The USG provided technical assistance to the Office of the National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator and helped draft the National Strategy and Action Plan 2005-2007. The USG also supported the GOA's anti-trafficking efforts in the Organized Crime and Border and Immigration Police Directorates of the Albanian State Police. Specific assistance priorities were the improvement of victim identification, referral and assistance; the development of regional anti-trafficking committees coordinating the efforts of local government and civil society; improvements in victim/witness protection procedures; enhanced data collection; and more effective public awareness activities. In order to stem child trafficking, the USG supported Albania's implementation of its Child Trafficking Cooperation Agreement with Greece.
In FY 2006, USG anti-trafficking efforts expanded to cover 17 districts, sensitized 2,800 children and community members, provided follow-up protection to 1,420 children and reintegrated 522 children into the community, while seeking comprehensive and sustainable solutions against child trafficking. The project also identified 131 children living on the Albanian streets, indicating a rise in internal trafficking within Albania. USG assistance supported 14 summer camp prevention initiatives in close collaboration with Roma NGOs involving 850 children.

In the second anti-trafficking initiative, over 40,000 persons participated in prevention programs conducted by 15 USG-supported NGOs in all regions of Albania. Nineteen NGOs received USG grants, providing reintegration services to 218 women and children trafficking victims. Over 1,800 persons participated in training sessions, including government officials trained in "child-friendly" interviewing techniques and sessions introducing teachers to anti-trafficking and child protections issues and messages. The anti-trafficking prevention program also expanded its geographical distribution, reaching 12 new municipalities.

In FY 2006, the USG trained 52 students in U.S. schools and sent six Mobile Training Teams to Albania that trained over 200 personnel. There are currently ten language labs operating throughout the AAF and an additional five portable labs.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE/IMPACT

In an exercise that attracted extensive media coverage, 60 students from Albania and the region acquired a greater understanding of NATO through participatory role playing exercises and intense interactions with a U.S. speaker and other NATO experts. The NATO symposium and related programs have increased understanding among future leaders of the significance and responsibilities of membership in multilateral organizations.

USG military education and training continued to make a large impact, as key personnel - such as the Chief of Naval Operations, the new Rapid Reaction commander and most of the Joint Staff directors - are alumni of USG programs.

The USG also pushed for implementation of a landmark law on the declaration of assets, which requires the disclosure of the assets of senior politicians, civil servants, and public officials. The USG played a similar role with respect to the 2003 money laundering law and the 2004 terrorism financing freeze law, placing a technical expert within the General Directorate for the Fight against Money Laundering to insure that both laws are implemented effectively. The USG played a key advisory role in the drafting and implementation of key anti-corruption and crime legislation.

Assistance aimed at border management worked to bring the airport and the seaports into compliance with international security standards. In the seaports, the USG supported conformity with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Regulations of the International Maritime Organization. As a result, Albania, though not fully compliant, has been taken off the US Coast Guard Advisory of countries not compliant with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.

The USG, in cooperation with the EU, designed, installed and implemented the Total Information Management System (TIMS), which will ultimately provide national coverage and greatly enhance case management, criminal analysis, border control, investigative support, and access to data. In FY 2006, the system was installed in nine border crossing points, in addition to prior installation at Albania's ten major border crossing points in 2005. TIMS improved communication systems for Albanian officials and enhanced information sharing among police and prosecutors. TIMS also facilitated a quicker and more effective management and presentation of criminal cases in court and facilitated the interdiction of traffickers and victims and disrupted trafficking networks.

USG-funded programs assisted with the initiation of an objective, transparent, merit-based recruiting process for entry into the Albanian State Police (ASP). New recruits entered into a revised basic training curriculum (20 weeks) at the ASP Training Academy, modeled on Western standards. This was a significant shift from the previous training models used by the ASP, which included one-year and three-year programs resulting in specialists with little experiential training, versus the new patrol generalist concept. A 20-week Field Training Officer (FTO) program was developed to properly train the patrol generalists in field operations once they graduate from the basic academy. In addition, an ASP manpower allocation study neared completion. A significant revision to the ASP law will reorganize the rank structure within the ASP, providing for more consistency in its leadership and autonomy in its operations - all requirements for EU accession. An additional USG grant supported the creation of a police labor union.

With the support of the USG, national coordination effectively addressed the issue of child labor and sexual exploitation, leading to a reduction of trafficking levels. However, complexities such as family complicity and internal trafficking within Albanian borders continued to emerge. USG anti-trafficking assistance improved the quality and efficiency of prevention programs, provided direct assistance to victims of trafficking, and enhanced the geographic distribution of programs and services more evenly throughout the country. The USG anti-trafficking program also had a significant impact on the curbing of trafficked Albanian children to other countries in the region. Regional coordination continued to expand, illustrated by ten public declarations and actions against child trafficking by Albanian and Greek officials. The GOA showed increased interest in public and private projects and established several mechanisms to follow-up on the anti-trafficking national strategy.

The USG supported a NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund project to develop an indigenous ammunition demilitarization facility at Mjekes in central Albania. The project will eliminate 11,665 tons of Albania's excess ammunition, including 80 million rounds of small arms ammunition. An explosive waste incinerator will destroy small arms ammunition and other small ammunition items such as mortar fuses. The project also demilitarized the entire AAF stockpile of 107 mm high explosive mortar ammunition in Poli�an.

The USG provided training, technical expertise, investigative tools, and computer equipment to the Serious Crimes Prosecutor's Office, which was launched in January 2004 and has established itself as the centerpiece of organized crime prosecution in Albania.

The USG also played a critical coordinating role as a member of the steering committee of the International Consortium, an organization dedicated to coordinating foreign assistance in the area of law enforcement and the rule of law. The Consortium improved border control and witness protection; developed anti-trafficking strategies, anti-organized crime efforts, court reform, legislative reform, and community policing; and implemented information management systems. Additionally, a new working group of the International Consortium was formed in FY 2006 to coordinate efforts in the area of juvenile justice.

USG programs worked to reduce small arms and light weapons in Albania, and supported a project to destroy approximately 16 metric tons of chemical warfare agents.

MEASURES OF PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

In order to determine how U.S. Government assistance affects a country, U.S. embassies set targets for improvement called "performance indicators." Data for these indicators are collected by research institutes, embassies and international organizations. By examining data over time, U.S. policymakers can better understand whether or not assistance programs are having the intended impact.

Please find below an important indicator in the area of Peace and Security. In the chart, the "Baseline" refers to a starting point from which to measure progress or regression over time. The Embassy and its partner organizations then agree on a "Target" figure that they hope to achieve as a result of U.S. assistance programs. The "Rank" figure is the resulting measurement. "FY" stands for "fiscal year," the period of the U.S. budget that runs from October 1 - September 30 of the following year. "CY" stands for "calendar year," covering events from January 1 - December 31 of the subject year or last calendar year.

Performance Indicator: Trafficking in Persons Country Ranking. The annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report includes those countries determined to be countries of origin, transit, or destination for a significant number of victims of severe forms of trafficking. The Report rates countries as Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List, or Tier 3. Tier 1 reflects countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000 minimum standards; Tier 2 reflects countries whose governments do not fully comply with the Act's minimum standards but are making significant efforts to achieve compliance with those standards; Tier 2 Special Watch List is the same as Tier 2 but also denotes a deteriorating trafficking environment (i.e. the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing); and Tier 3: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. Source: State Department TIP Report 2005. Found on line at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2005/.

CY 2003 Baseline

CY 2004

CY 2005 Rank

CY 2006 Target

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2


Impact of U.S. Assistance on the Above Indicator: Albania first received a Tier 2 TIP ranking in 2002. Since then USG programs have contributed to a substantial increase in the awareness of trafficking among the population. Although the GOA did not meet the necessary criteria to move up to Tier I status in the FY 2006 reporting year, the GOA continues to make significant progress in combating trafficking: successfully prosecuting and convicting traffickers, appointing a new fulltime national anti-trafficking coordinator with staff, beginning to implement its witness protection law for trafficking victims, and signing a bilateral anti-child-trafficking agreement with Greece.

FY 2006 Funds Budgeted for U.S. Government Assistance to Albania [PDF format]



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