ITF’s Busy Week in Albania
ITF had a busy week in Albania! We accomplished monitoring visits to some of the working sites, attended meetings for further cooperation and officially expanded our activities in the country!
Despite successfully achieving a mine-free status in 2009, Albania continues to be faced with areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO) and explosive remnants of war (ERW), the so-called hotspots. UXO and ERW have severe and long-term consequences affecting the local population. In order to address these effects, ITF activities in Albania include the socio-economic reintegration for UXO/ERW victims through vocational training. The project, which is being implemented by Alb-Aid and funded by U.S. Department of State, enables survivors and their family members to attend numerous different courses in order to increase their employment and business opportunities. Seven students already completed the course, acquired professional skills and entered the job market, with ten currently enrolled in classes, and another eight beginning in June.
With the support of the U.S. Department of State and in cooperation with Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), we are also successfully continuing with the final phase of hotspots clearance, which will enable survey, clearance and release of the remaining two hotspots. For that purpose, ITF representatives visited Jube Sukth NPA project site, where we were presented by the recent developments and achievements of the work on the ground.
Due to the fact we are constantly trying to find new ways to help wherever we can, we met with the representatives of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Republic of Albania in Tirana to discuss future cooperation in the field of ammunition stockpile reduction. The meeting was a success and we are very happy that the MoD entrusted us with a new task of stockpile destruction. Thus, we concluded the week by Mr Igli Hasani, General Director at the Albanian MoD, and Ambassador Damjan Bergant, ITF Director, signing a memorandum of understanding on conventional weapons destruction and officially expanded our activities in Albania.