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The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, represented by Mr. Sokol DEDJA, Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, hosted the National Workshop under the UfM Financial Strategy for Water. The National Workshop was organised jointly by the Union for Mediterranean (UfM) and the Water Resources Management Agency of Albania.
The workshop brought together around 50 representatives from Albanian ministries and agencies, EU Delegation in Tirana, European Investment Bank, Austrian Development Agency and other development partners, international experts from Jordan and Morocco, and representatives from municipalities, water utilities and chairs of basin councils, and their respective associations
Ms. Gerta Lubonja, General Director of the Water Resources Management Agency, emphasised the importance of water resources management in Albania. Also, she noted the role of the Agency related to transposition and implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.
Mr. Almotaz Abadi, Managing Director, UfM-Water, on behalf of the UfM Secretariat emphasised the importance of regional cooperation towards sustainable and integrated water management in the UfM region. The UfM Water Agenda will directly contribute to fulfil the requirements under Chapter 27 – Environment under the EU negotiations and to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 in the Mediterranean region, as well as several other SDGs.
Mr Andrea Vera, Head of the Economic Governance section in the European Union Delegation in Albania, called the Albanian government to come with additional measures for creating the proper conditions to the development of the water sector, starting with the urgent strengthening of the key sector national agencies. He highlighted the large support of the European countries to the sector to bring sustainable benefits to the Albanian citizens.
The National Workshop under the UfM Financial Strategy for Water focused on the sustainable financing of water resources management. Some key messages from the meetings are that while there are significant financing needs, the key bottleneck might be absorptive capacity, and there are significant opportunities to increase operational efficiency and value-for-money of investments. The workshop took into account that the process of EU accession is the strongest driver for reform and investments. The workshop helped Albanian authorities to improve alignment of national goals and strategies with regional (UfM) strategies as well as the SDGs and showcase the analytical work carried out in the drinking water supply and sanitation (WSS) sub-sector.