WASHINGTON, May 4, 2018— The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$11 million of Additional Financing for the Albania Social Assistance Modernization Project (SAMP). The additional financing will enhance the support to reforms that improve the equity and efficiency of social assistance programs in Albania.
The existing project has achieved promising results in reforming two main social assistance programs: social assistance, known as Ndihma Ekonomike (NE) and Disability Assistance (DA). A new scoring formula has been introduced for NE to help identify the poorest households in Albania and also remove abusers from the scheme.
After piloting in three regions (covering half of the country’s population), the new formula has been rolled out nationally, improving coverage and targeting. An electronic system was developed and is functioning for both social assistance programs. The new systems have increased the administrative efficiency by reducing the time needed to determine eligibility to 5 days, compared to 25 at the project start.
The additional financing will support some new activities such as increasing the geographical scope of the disability assistance related activities; funding improved accessibility of people with disability to state social services regional centers; the introduction of employment package policies for NE beneficiaries; and a Social Model which will improve the lives of people with disability through implementing an integrated system of services for this vulnerable group.