2018 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Albania

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

FUNDING FY15 FY16 FY17 FY00–17 TOTAL
DOS NADR - CWD 1,777 1,500 1,200 41,247
DoD 147 100 33 497
USAID 0 0 0 1,389
COUNTRY TOTAL 1,924 1,600 1,233 43,133

Dollars in thousands

ALBANIA

Although Albania declared itself “mine free” in 2009, it continues to face UXO contamination following unplanned munitions stockpile explosions. After the fall of the communist dictatorship in 1991, Albania was left with immense stockpiles of obsolete, deteriorating, and poorly maintained weapons and munitions. During civil unrest in the 1990s, many weapons and munitions depots were looted or burned. Significant amounts of ammunition were scattered, leaving large swaths of land that were dangerous, uninhabitable, and unfit for use. UXO at former military impact ranges and depot explosion sites, known in Albania as “UXO Hotspots,” remain a threat.

Date: 2018 Description: UXO found in a tree trunk during clearance of the area at the Picar site in Albania. An explosion at the Picar ammunition storage depot took place in 1997. Twenty years after the explosion, U.S. funding to ITF enabled NPA to clear the area consisting of 28,285 square meters (6.99 acres). © Photo courtesy of ITF and NPA

From 2000 to 2017, the United States provided more than $43.1 million to Albania for CWD efforts. However, in 2017 CWD funding began its transition from solely “hotspot” clearance to PSSM and SA/LW projects.

In 2017, the Department of State supported the following implementing partners:

  • ITF and NPA completed a technical survey of the Sinanaj-Tepelenë hotspot site, cleared Picar-Gjirokastër and Korçë-Gjirokastër sites, and returned all known Gjirokastër hotspot sites back to local residents. ITF and NPA also reduced threats to civilian safety and economic livelihood posed by UXO through technical survey and clearance of contaminated hotspots in Jube Sukth, while also performing post-clearance assessments in the Berat area on hotspots in Gjerovan, Mbreashtan, and Palikesht.
  • ITF and UNDP continued supporting the Albanian Mine and Munitions Coordination Office. Additionally, ITF provided assistance to landmine and UXO survivors at the Kukës Hospital in northeastern Albania and completed vocational training with 25 victims of UXO accidents.

With funding from the Department of Defense, the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), and the United States European Command (USEUCOM) conducted a Requirements Determination Site Survey for future EOD engagements scheduled in early FY18.