Albania

ISO3
ALB

Albania

Albania has significant natural resources, including fertile agricultural land, an Adriatic/Ionian coastline, abundant water resources with hydropower potential and valuable mineral deposits. Since the fall of communism in 1991, the country has made significant progress toward establishing a multi-party democracy and has implemented numerous economic reforms. Albania‘s economy is one of the fastest growing in Europe (averaging 5.5% in the 2006 – 2009 period) and the percentage of the population living in poverty fell from 25% in 2002 to 12% in 2008.

However, despite its progress Albania remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. Per capita income was US $4,070 in 2009. Of its labor force of about 2 million people, an estimated 1.2 million work abroad; remittances are responsible for an estimated 30-40% of GDP. The country faces high unemployment (13% in 2010), low foreign direct investment, poor infrastructure and rising trade deficits. Albania applied for European Union membership in April 2009. In November 2010, the European Commission‘s assessment recognized the progress that Albania has made but concluded that Albania‘s democratic institutions have not yet achieved the effectiveness and stability required for membership.

One area called out by the European Commission in its assessment was Albania‘s persistent land tenure insecurity. Land reforms implemented after the fall of communism provided hundreds of thousands of people with smallholdings and urban residences but failed to address the rights of pre-1945 landowners. The estimated 41,000 claims to restitution and compensation remain largely unresolved and undermine tenure security and the development of functioning formal land markets. Almost 70% of all civil cases pending in Albanian courts involve land disputes. The courts suffer from an inadequate legal framework, inefficiencies, and corruption. Albanian citizens have resorted to bringing property claims against the Government of Albania (GOA) before the European Court for Human Rights (EctHR) – where initial decisions are going against the GOA. The GOA is taking steps to strengthen property rights, including continuing a national project to register all property and to regularize the significant number of informal landholdings in urban and peri-urban areas. Creating a plan to address the claims for restitution and compensation from pre-1945 landowners is proving most challenging.

The GOA is also targeting the agricultural and mining sectors with initiatives designed to promote growth and good governance of natural resources. Albania‘s agricultural sector, which accounts for over half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming. GOA strategies to improve agricultural performance will require support for modern equipment and extension services, sufficient high-quality inputs, continued rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure, and the development of farmer associations and a functioning rental market for agricultural land. In the mining sector, the GOA is in the process of revising the legal framework and developing systems to support its candidacy for an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative county.

English

Structural Adjustment in the Transition : Case Studies from Albania, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Moldova

Also available in

The study reviews the performance of
four transition countries - Albania, Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz
Republic, and Moldova - in the areas of private, and
financial sector development, identifying both their
achievements, and challenges, to extract beneficial reform
efforts, and alternative approaches, setting the pace for
sustainable growth. These countries were selected because
they are among the poorest in the region, whose problems are

Resource information

June 2013
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

A Qualitative Assessment of Poverty in Ten Areas of Albania

Also available in

This qualitative assessment of poverty
in Albania seeks to deepen the understanding of poverty in
the country, first, by involving poor Albanians in a process
of exploring the causes, nature, extent of poverty, and how
it affects their livelihoods. Second, it is intended to
support the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(PRSP); third, it supports preparation of the Country
Assistance Strategy (CAS), and the Living Standards

Resource information

August 2013
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

Albania : Social Safety Net Review

Also available in

In 1989, Albania's rigid political
and socioeconomic structure shattered beyond repair.
Turbulence soon invaded every domain of life. As the state
imploded, so did the state-run economy. This review explores
ongoing consequences of this difficult transformation that
took place since 1989 and of policy initiatives to mitigate
or ameliorate its effects. Albania has been much studied;
the review addresses important information gaps. It

Resource information

July 2013
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

Albania : Strategic Policies for a More Competitive Agriculture Sector

Also available in

Recent trends in Albania suggest that it
has the potential for a modern and competitive agricultural
sector, provided there is sufficient private investment and
the right policy environment. This chapter looks at the role
of agriculture in the economy and the current status of the
sector, and outlines the implications of modernization and
transformation of agriculture for rural areas. It also
identifies trends and sources of growth for agriculture, and

Resource information

June 2012
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

Poverty in Albania : A Qualitative Assessment

Also available in

This qualitative assessment of poverty
in Albania seeks to deepen the understanding of poverty in
the country, first, by involving poor Albanians in a process
of exploring the causes, nature, extent of poverty, and how
it affects their livelihoods. Second, it is intended to
support the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(PRSP). Third, it supports preparation of the Country
Assistance Strategy (CAS), and the Living Standards

Resource information

August 2013
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

Albania : Poverty Assessment

Also available in

Despite the impressive performance of
the economy in the last five years, however, poverty in
Albania has remained high, and per capita income, at around
US$1,230 in 2002, has remained one of the lowest among
transition economies. In an effort to adopt policies to
share widely the benefits of growth, and reduce poverty, the
Government outlined a poverty alleviation strategy in the
2000 Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP), and

Resource information

July 2013
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

Social Transfers, Labor Supply and Poverty Reduction : The Case of Albania

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In 1993, in response to persistent
unemployment, and rising poverty and social unrest, the
government of Albania introduced an anti-poverty program,
namely Ndihma Ekonomike; in 1995 it was extended to all poor
households. This paper estimates the separate effects of
participation in this income support program and the old-age
pension program on objective and subjective measures of
household poverty. The analysis uses the nationally

Resource information

May 2012
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

Investing Back Home : Return Migration and Business Ownership in Albania

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In view of its increasing importance,
and the dearth of information on return migration and its
impacts on source households, this study uses data from the
2005 Albania Living Standards Measurement Study survey and
assesses the impact of past migration experience of Albanian
households on non-farm business ownership through
instrumental variables regression techniques. Moreover,
considering the differences in earning potentials and

Resource information

June 2012
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group

Albania - Urban Growth, Migration and Poverty Reduction : A Poverty Assessment

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This sector report claims that in the
three years between 2002 and 2005 alone, almost 235,000
people have moved out of poverty in Albania. Strong economic
growth and large inflow of remittances are at the center of
this impressive achievement. However, low productivity of
predominantly small family farms has put a drag on rural
growth prospects. Moreover, Ndihma Ekonomike (NE) program,
the means-tested income support program is small in scale,

Resource information

June 2012
Publisher(s)
World Bank Group