Measures taken by the Albanian government to contain the spread of coronavirus have hit the country’s Roma community particularly hard. Several days prior, members of the community broke government-mandated self-quarantine to protest lack of food, income, and facilities.
The Council of Europe’s ROMACTED project and the Institute of Romani Culture in Albania have supported 300 vulnerable Roma families in the municipalities of Elbasan, Korca, Permet and Roskovec in March to enable them to overcome the economic consequences of the restrictive measures due to the Covid-19 health crisis. 118 families have been supported by the Municipality of Vlora upon the appeal of the ROMACTED facilitator.
Roma facilitators working with ROMACTED have called on the government to provide running water in Roma settlements, as well as hygiene and food supplies for vulnerable households.
The program also warned it would continue its monitoring mission throughout the crisis and ensure the protection of human rights, equal distribution of emergency aid, and the prevention of discrimination, as “the obligation to respect human rights cannot be suspended during such an unprecedented emergency situation.”