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Northeastern Districts Rural Development Project

Northeastern Districts Rural Development Project

Albania ’s emergence from 45 years of strict central planning and self-imposed isolation was accompanied by severe economic crisis. With no alternative economic institutions in place, the crisis resulted in a general collapse of production, severe unemployment in urban areas and hardship for people in rural areas struggling to survive in a liberalized economy. The aim of this project was to respond to the urgent needs of Albania’s rural people.

In the hilly and mountainous zones of north-eastern Albania , agricultural yields had decreased drastically because of damaged irrigation systems, limited mechanization, lack of proper hand tools and use of low-quality seeds. Farmers were without the cash resources they needed to purchase equipment and seeds and fertilizers, when they were available. Yet the area had sufficient production potential, and it would be possible to rehabilitate rural infrastructure. The project set out to reduce the need for off-farm employment and ensure long-term survival of the mountain economy. It targeted poor farm households in the area, and particularly women. In the 40 per cent of villages that had no water supply, women spent as much as three hours a day carrying water to their homes.

The project worked in partnership with the government to expand poverty reduction initiatives into a balanced programme of rural development. It supported existing measures and worked to strengthen local institutions that have longer-term responsibility for rural services and development. The project had the aim of generating employment and urgently needed cash income through a labour-intensive rural works programme, according to priorities established by participants. It supported small-scale credit and microenterprise development to generate income from livestock and off-farm activities.

Through an agricultural development programme, the project improved food security and helped establish markets. It established the basis for sustainable long-term rural development by improving administration of local government, with particular emphasis on financial administration.

 

Source: IFAD


Status: Closed

Country

Albania

Approval Date

02 December 1993

Duration

1993 - 2002

Sector

Rural Development

Total Project Cost

US$ 18.21 million

IFAD Financing

US$ 11.6 million

Co-financiers (International)

Islamic Development Bank US$ 5.55 million

Co-financiers (Domestic)

National Government US$ 1.06 million

Financing terms

Highly Concessional

Project ID

1100000347


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