Albania

How Covid-19 is affecting Albania

Exit provides a list of restrictions in Albania:

  • People may leave their homes to visit grocery shops and pharmacies between the hours of 5am -1 pm. Police and army will be monitoring lines in shops to maintain order and social distancing.
  • After 1pm, a curfew will be enforced and people are required to remain inside at all times. Failure to comply will result in a fine of 10,000 ALL. This schedule is in place until further notice.
  • Other shops that will be open include gas stations, mail services, vets, hotels and freight transport. Shopping centres, bars, restaurants, any shop that doesn’t sell food, spas and wellness centres, and motor shops are closed.
  • During the hours of 5am - 1pm, travelling via private vehicles is not allowed unless special permission is obtained. Failure to comply will result in a fine and possible confiscation of driving license.
  • Going for walks, socialising in public, congregating in public areas is not allowed and can be punished by a 10,000 ALL fine. 
  • Walking, hiking, sporting activities or anything not related to purchasing food or medicine, is not allowed during the periods of movement.
  • Tirana International Airport is closed until further notice with the exception of the Air Albania flight to and from Istanbul which is still operating at the time of writing.
  • All schools and educational institutions are closed until 3 April.

Albania’s borders have been closed since March 16, reports Emerging Europe.

“With some 120,000 people having returned from Italy – like Greece, host to a large Albanian community – prior to the country cutting air and sea links with its neighbour on 9 March, there are mounting fears over the ability of the nation’s health system to cope in the event of a sudden surge in confirmed coronavirus cases,” reports the Guardian

Concerns are being expressed about the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading in Albania’s prisons and migrant detention centres, says Exit News

The UNHRC found that conditions at the Karreç migrant detention facility were unsuitable and detainees did not always get adequate access to healthcare.  The article continues, “This raises significant concerns about the well-being of refugees as they try to cross borders, but also their vulnerability to Coronavirus. In Albania, basic healthcare provisions are not in place for those seeking asylum or the right to remain, let alone in the middle of a pandemic.”

This week in Albania, members of the Roma community in Tirana, Vlora, Elbasan and Korca have been protesting due to lack of food, reports Exit News.  Read the full article here.

Greetings from Monika

Field country manager Monika Qerimi has worked with MWB since 1992. She said, “The Lord has been very good to us; we have seen the impact and the fruits of our ministry.

"We are particularly thankful to God for all our sponsors and donors – without them we could accomplish very little.

"We should not forget that there is need but there is also generosity and kindness and dignity in offering help and addressing those needs – and there is humility and gratitude in receiving help. 

"We are ready to continue to face the tasks and also the challenges that lie ahead, always relying on each other and above all on the guidance and grace that come from God.

"None of us can do anything alone, things are possible in cooperation and unity, as it says in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27."

One of the poorest countries in Europe

Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. One in three young people are unemployed, and for those who do have jobs, income levels have fallen to just 26% of the EU average. As a result, meeting basic needs is a daily challenge for many people and an incredible 56% of all Albanians want to emigrate, a Gallup poll found in 2017. 

Albania is also a major source country for people trafficking and forced labour; and money laundering and drug trafficking are rife. Also, women have poor social and economic status in what is a patriarchal culture, and one woman dies every month as a result of domestic violence.

Our work in Albania focuses on the capital Durres, where many people move from poverty in rural areas to find work, but we also work in Tirana, in Berat and in neighbouring villages.

We work with families and children, addressing issues such as addiction and domestic violence when necessary. By providing a route to self-sufficiency and alleviating poverty, we hope to make families less vulnerable to trafficking and to labour migration. We also run a Soup Kitchen for the elderly, many of whom are alone after their children moved abroad to find work.  We provide educational support to children, making sure they have what they need to get a good education and a brighter future.

Sponsor a family in Albania

307 families in Albania are helped through our sponsorship programme

40 children in Albania are supported at our after school programme

25 students in Albania are currently helped through our scholarship programme

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