The European Commission disbursed a €90 million loan to Albania on Friday, to help it recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the second and last disbursement of aid for Albania that received its first €90 million loan from the EU’s Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) program in March 2021.
The European Union approved a €3 billion emergency MFA package in May 2020 to help the economies of ten EU candidates and other neighboring countries, including Albania.
“I am very pleased to see these funds flowing to Albania today. This disbursement is a demonstration of the EU’s solidarity with the Albanian people, but also of Albania’s commitment to deliver on the important reform agenda agreed with the European Commission,” stated Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy.
The financial aid comes in the form of loans or grants, and it requires that the government of the receiving country meet certain criteria before it is disbursed.
For Albania, the EU granted two low-interest loans, after the government proved it had strengthened the public finance sector, improved governance and the fight against corruption, and enhance social protections.
While this loan constitutes only a short-term emergency program to respond swiftly to the pandemic, the EU supports the Western Balkan through a number of other mechanisms.
Indeed, the EU is the biggest donor and investor in the region.
It is also Albania’s biggest donor, with €1.4 billion granted under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) in the last 14 years alone. In addition, the EU has provided Albania with 740,000 doses of the vaccine.