Western Balkans

Szunyog signs €11.8m worth projects providing social protection for vulnerable groups

15/01/2021 - 14:00
News

The Head of the EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative, Tomáš Szunyog, signed today three projects worth 11.8 million euro providing support to socially vulnerable groups in Kosovo at the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The projects will provide emergency support, social protection and early socio-economic recovery for most vulnerable groups, particularly children and women. They are part of a programme that targets a population of 200,000 citizens. It comprises an emergency support scheme to address the basic needs of 8,000 families living in poverty, including those belonging to minority groups or not officially registered. It aims to improve sustainability of social policies addressing inequalities and fostering medium and long-term social cohesion.

Ambassador Szunyog reminded that the pandemic has created a sense of isolation among individuals and destabilised the social life, by causing mental and physical distress like never before.

“Therefore, the EU in Kosovo is pleased to launch this programme that will contribute to foster solidarity and social cohesion in our communities so deeply shaken by the dramatic effect of the pandemic and its impact on people’s lives.”

Ambassador Szunyog stressed also that “now when vaccines are gradually being made available, the EU is mobilising all its resources to ensure access by Western Balkan partners to COVID-19 vaccines.”

The projects will be implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Save the Children, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Together with Maria Suokko, UNDP Resident Representative for Kosovo, Ahmet Kryeziu, Country Director of Save the Children Kosovo, and Anna Rostocka, Chief of Mission of the IOM Kosovo, Ambassador Szunyog signed the contracts in the presence of Mentor Morina, Director of Department for social policies and family, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

The programme will be implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Municipal Centres for Social Work, as the main institutions responsible for social policies and delivery of assistance schemes and services. It will also support the non-profit organisations protecting and assisting disadvantaged children, women and families including from minority communities and/or not officially registered in the social welfare system.

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