Tirana, August 1, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
A loan agreement for a US$10 million Environment Services Project was signed today in Tirana. The agreement was signed on behalf of the Government of Albania by the Minister of Finance Shkelqim Cani and on behalf of the World Bank by the Country Manager, Tahseen Sayed.
The project supports sustainable land management and aims to increase communities’ incomes in erosion prone rural upland areas. It will open avenues for alternative livelihoods and promote the financial, economic, and institutional sustainability of land use and natural resources management. Capacity support will be provided to farmers, community organizations, and central and local government institutions to efficiently use EU funding.
Project beneficiaries include farmers, forest associations, groups and individuals in 310 rural communes and 2,980 villages in the country, with equal opportunities created for women and vulnerable groups. The Project will contribute to the conservation of water resources and sustainability of water resources benefiting citizens through improved availability and quality of water and reduced flooding.
The total project cost is Euro16.8 million, co-financed by a Trust Fund of Euro 7.3 million from the Swedish Government and a Trust Fund of Euro 2.2 million from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
Since Albania joined the World Bank in 1992, a total of 82 projects comprising over US$1.8 billion of IDA credits and grants and IBRD loans have been provided to the country. /ibna/