Supporting Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptian Communities

What is the project about?

Roma community at the inauguration of the new road and bridge in Elbasan.
Roma community at the inauguration of the new road and bridge in Elbasan. (Credit: UNDP Albania)

Roma and Egyptians are facing a level of poverty estimated three times higher than that of the other parts of population in Albania, due to long-standing social exclusion. "A Needs Asssesment Study on Roma and Egyptian Communities in Albania" commissioned  by UNDP in 2011, showed that 90 % of Roma and Egyptian workers do not make social security contribution, 40.3 % of Roma and 12.7 % of Egyptians are illiterate, 37 % of Roma and 20% of Egyptians do not know where or how to obtain health cards, while 21% of Roma and 11% of Egyptians live in shacks.

Supporting the Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptian Communities (SSIREC) Project,supported by European Union, aims to empower the marginalized communities in  the regions of Korca, Berat and Vlora  socially and economically.The project  builds on previous UNDP intervention in this area.

The project relies on the active participation of the Roma and Egyptian communities as well close collaboration with central and local authorities in the targeted regionsThe project supports the Government of Albania in its efforts to achieve the objectives set forth in the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005 - 2015 while promoting respect for human rights and appreciation for cultural diversity, as prerequisites for the country’s EU accession.

The project enables communities to participate in local planning processes and prioritization of r infrastructure development of Roma/Egyptian neighborhoods. It also works to build capacities of Roma and Egyptian civil society organizations to be able to implement small scale projects in response to community needs. The project also supports Roma and Egyptian people  through vocational trainings to increase their employability.  as well as  strengthen   the artisan and entrepreneurship skills   Support is also provided to Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth (MoSWY) and local government units  to implement and monitor the National Roma Decade Action Plan while promoting human rights and appreciating  cultural diversity.

What have we accomplished so far?

Roma women at the Intercultural Artisans Fair in Tirana
Intercultural Artisans Fair organized on International Roma Day. Credit: UNDP Albania
  • Roma and Egyptian Community Counseling Forums (CCFs) have been established in Korca, Vlora and Berat regions, to prioritize community needs and advocate for their solution by respective local authorities in respective regions.
  • Local authorities in three regions are benefiting training and coaching assistance to apply participatory planning and budgeting processes with direct involvement of Roma and Egyptian communities in three regions.
  • Nine infrastructure interventions such as kindergarten, health centers, information offices, internal roads, and intercultural community centers are prioritized by Roma/Egyptian communities and are agreed for co-financing with respective local authorities in three regions. Over 2500 Roma and Egyptian families living in Korca, Berat and Vlora regions will benefit from the various interventions in infrastructure.
  • Three inter-local Community Development Plans focusing on Roma and Egyptian communities have been prepared accompanied with implementation and monitoring guides for the period 2015-2020.
  • Capacities of Roma and Egyptian NGOs have been assessed and project is offering training and coaching package to help them implement small scale development projects, while strengthening their role in fighting anti-discrimination.  
  • Roma/Egyptian artisans are assisted to get networked for marketing craft products while other individuals are supported with vocational trainings and development of entrepreneurship skills.
  • Social Inclusion Directorate at MoSWY has been supported to collect data relevant for measuring the progress of National Roma Decade Action Plan in three regions.   Tthe Regional Coordination Committees on Social Needs and their Technical Sub-committees on Roma in the three regions are being assisted on how to address the local challenges of Roma and Egyptian inclusion.
  • A network of Cultural Diversity Ambassadors composed of prominent non-Roma personalities from the areas of art, sport and media as well as of Roma/Egyptian role models has been launched, to convey a stronger message of social inclusion and respect for diversity, under the slogan “Equal in Diversity”.

Who finances it?

The Project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Albania, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth.


Year Total delivery
 2012 USD 46,595
2013  USD 577,750
Project Overview
Project duration
July 2012 - December 2014
Geographic coverage
Korce, Vlore, Berat regions
Programme Officer
Entela Lako
Project Manager
Bujar Taho
Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth
SSIREC Project Reports
SSIREC Project Interim Report
Roma Needs Assesment

This study focuses on two marginalized groups of Albanian society, the Roma and Egyptians. The study is based on an analyses of quantitative and qualitative, primary and secondary data collected from various country regions.

The Decade of Roma Inclusion

The Decade of Roma Inclusion is an initiative of nine countries of Central and Eastern Europe to
improve the socio-economic status and social inclusion of the Roma minority in the region. The
Decade Initiative was launched in 2005 and covers the period from 2005 to 2015.

Publications on Roma
The housing situation of Roma communities

This report analyzes housing-related data from the 2011 regional roma survey conducted by UNDP, the World Bank, and European Commission in the EU member states, in twelve countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

Policy Brief - Roma Housing
Policy Brief - Roma and the labour market
A journey towards social inclusion
View More

Equal in Diversity