In Albania, 37% of the population live in poverty (defined by World Bank as living on less than $5.50/day), and 5.8% live in absolute poverty (living on less than $1.90 per day). The rate is higher in rural areas, in groups like the Roma, for people with disabilities, and among the old. The COVID-19 crisis has pushed many people who had previously attained self-sufficiency-- migrant agricultural workers, house cleaners, informal taxi drivers-- into unemployment, with no official aid available.
We provide aid parcels to households in need. Recipients are referred or request assistance, and social work teams (Bucimas, Pogradec, Gjirokaster) evaluate each case and respond with help including food, cleaning supplies, face masks, firewood, medicines, and donated clothing and shoes. Our aid parcels help households that have been driven into crisis by COVID-19 and by lockdowns to maintain the basic human dignity of having food to eat and a warm, safe living space in the cold winter months.
Humanitarian aid is the first step toward restoring human dignity, meeting basic needs for food, clothing, and health. Sadly, the need for this basic dignity has increased greatly in Albania, and we are helping people survive the crisis so that they can regain the self-sufficiency they had before COVID-19. Where needed, we help them learn skills that make employment possible. Children can better keep up with their education if they are warm and fed at home, so that they can return someday.