TIRANA, October 5, 2012— On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the World Bank Group activity in Albania, the World Bank Office in Tirana organized a conference to celebrate the long partnership with Albania. The conference took stock of the many-folded contribution of the World Bank to the country’s economic, human, and institutional progress. Present there were Prime Minister Sali Berisha, members of the cabinet, project beneficiaries, representatives from the private sector, civil society, media, development partners, etc.
Albania became a member of the World Bank Group in 1992 and the World Bank has been one of country’s key main sources of development support along this amazing 20-year journey. Since then, the Bank has financed 71 projects totaling over US$ 1.2 billion. Throughout the past years, the World Bank Group has been able to assist Albania technically, financially, and through policy advice on virtually every aspect of its development needs.
Participants in the conference pointed out that common successes are many and joint policy work has been critical to the successful transformation of the country in terms of financial sector development, business environment, and economic management. Participants in this conference pointed out the constructive cooperation of the World Bank with successive governments and all the stakeholders, the impact of the financed projects for sustainable growth in its road towards EU integration.
Speakers of different panels in the conference commended key World Bank projects which had strong developmental impact and affected positively the life of the people in the countryside and the towns, students in school, vulnerable groups, farmers, private sector, etc. From the investment perspective, there have been obtained countless visible results. The World Bank has helped to repair or construct 1,700 km of national and rural roads; rehabilitated and upgraded 270,000 hectares of Albania’s irrigation and drainage system (which represents two-thirds of Albania’s irrigated land); enhanced productivity and incomes by improving natural resource management in about 251 communes in mountainous areas prone to erosion; built or reconstructed more than 300 schools in priority areas; and equipped over 2,000 elementary and secondary schools with computers