Both, the Ministry of Local Self-Government (MoLSG) and Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA), as Operational Structures (OSs) of the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between the Republic of North Macedonia and Republic of Albania, together with the European Union Delegation in North Macedonia, in order to contribute to the Covid-19 emergency situation in both countries, had decided to utilize part of the budget funds of the “Technical Assistance” of this programme, to help institutions, communities and vulnerable groups within the cross-border programme area.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, has complicated the live of the population and the normal function of the institutions in the cross-border region, the emergency budget allocation of 10.000 Euros was decided to be invested on this regard.
In order to realize this activity both OSs have started negotiations with the EU Delegation in North Macedonia as contracting authority, in order to provide the needed funds that will be used for immediate support to the institutions, communities and vulnerable groups within the programme eligible area affected by COVID 19.
Based to the need assessment carried out in the target region, the emergency budget allocation was used for the provision of food packages to the most vulnerable groups, the poorest families within the Municipalities of Elbasan and Gramsh in Albania and provision of protective masks, gloves and sanitizers to the Local Department of Internal Affairs in Ohrid to North Macedonia. Thus, two activities were carried out in parallel in both countries.
One hundred and fifty food packages for socially disadvantaged families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Elbasan and Gramsh, Albania were donated by the Program and handed over by local authorities.
On 7th of May 2020, in the Municipality of Elbasan, the food packages for the socially disadvantaged families affected by the pandemic Covid-19 in Elbasan and Gramsh in Albania were donated from the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between North Macedonia and Albania. At this event the donation was handed by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Albania, Mr. Gent Cakaj together with the Ambasador of the EU in Albania H.E. Luigi Soreca to the Mayor of the Municipalitiy of Elbasan, Mr. Gledian Llatja and to the Mayor of the Municipalitiy of Gramsh, Mr. Klodian Tace.
The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Albania Mr. Gent Cakaj, stressed that this Programme is very important in developing the local communities on both sides of the border but also in tightening the relations between our people and our countries, and expressed their gratitude to the EU as well.
The EU Ambassador in Albania H.Z. Soreca noted that the European Union has allocated 50 million of Euros for Albania to support businesses in this difficult period, while assured the Mayors that the citizens will not be alone in this “war”.
The recipients of the help packages (food packages and protective materials) both, the Mayors of Elbasan and Gramsh from Albania, thanked the EU for the support through this Cross border Cooperation Programme, emphasizing that it is very important to support each other in these challenging times. They also highlighted that with this initiative the European Union is showing the solidarity and the humanity, which is the only way to overcome the crises caused by the Covid-19, which is diminishing the quality of life of the citizens.
On 11th of May 2020, in Ohrid, the protective materials for the Department of Police of Ohrid, Kicevo, Struga and Debar to help in their work in front of the pandemic Covid-19, were donated from the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between Republic of North Macedonia and Republic of Albania. At this event the donation was handed by the Minister of Local Self Government in North Macedonia, Mr. Goran Milevski together with the EU Delegation Mr. Freek Jaanmat to the High Officials of the Police Departments in Southwest region
(COVID-19) Mr. Milevski: From the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between North Macedonia and Albaniawe donated protective materials to the police at Macedonian side and food packages to the Albanian side
Protective materials such as 2,500 protective masks for multiple uses, 38,050 gloves and 100 antiseptic gels, were given to the Police officers from the SVR Ohrid, as well as colleagues from the regional units, within the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania.
– I would like to express my gratitude to the European Union for accepting the budget allocation for making possible this donation. Police officers are among the first to help fight the Covid-19 crisis. The cooperation between our country and Albania will continue. The cross-border programme is very important for the development of cities on both sides of the border, opportunities for community progress, as well as for strengthening the good neighborly relations and support for EU membership, said Mr. Goran Milevski, Minister of Local Self-Government.
The budget for the donation was 10,000 Euros, which was equal for both the country and neighboring Albania.
– I am very happy to be here because we have the opportunity to convert the savings from the Cross-Border Programme between North Macedonia and Albania, for providing equipment such as protective masks, gloves, antiseptic gels for police officers from SIA Ohrid and their regional units. This is exactly our practice with other projects, where we determine the savings and directly redirect them to help fight the corona crisis. This is only a small part of what we are donating today and it is through urgent donations, which are also for the medical sector as well as for the improvement of the socio-economic measures. We have about 66 million Euros in the form of grants for North Macedonia that are non-refundable covering more areas of intervention, to help institutions, civil society and citizens, said Mr. Freek Janmaat, Head of Economic Affairs, Institution Building, Cross-Border Cooperation at the Delegation of EU in the country.
The police are one of the most important institutions in the society during the corona crisis, which completely protects the citizens and is constantly on the ground, so any donation for them is welcome.
– The donation from the IPA 2 Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between North Macedonia and Albania is coming at the right time and will help us to be more efficient in realizing the tasks for a more successful fight against Covid-19. Today, with this, you showed concern for the health of the police officers and expressed support for the SVR Ohrid, said Mr. Ilija Mileski, Chief of the SVR Ohrid.