The World Bank approved a credit of SDR11.7 million (US$17.5 million equivalent) to Albania to help finance the Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Cleanup Project for Albania. The Project is the first phase of a two-phase Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Clean-up Program, which will be implemented over 7 years. The overall objective of the program is to protect the coastal natural resources and cultural assets and promote sustainable development of the Albanian coast.
The total cost of the Project is estimated at US$38.6 million, and will be financed by contributions from other co-financiers (a grant from the Government of the Netherlands of US$3.11 million, a grant from the European Commission of US$5.2 million, a grant from the Government of Austria of US$2.6 million and a grant from the Government of Japan of US$2.23 million). A US$0.95 million grant will be sought from the Global Environment Facility. Local governments and the government of Albania are expected to finance US$7.97 million.
The Bank is assisting in the implementation of several programs in the coastal zone: irrigation, drainage, water resources management, water supply, wastewater management, port development, fisheries, urban planning and community works. However, a comprehensive umbrella program will be put in place through this new project.
Task Team Leader Rita Cestti emphasizes that „such a comprehensive approach will contribute to an effective implementation of priority measures, will promote close coordination between line ministries and responsible authorities, and will help the Government play a catalytic role in harmonizing development assistance activities affecting Albania’s coastal zone and in mobilizing further donor support for the coast.“
The development objective of the project is to set up and initiate an integrated coastal zone management approach to reduce coastal degradation through strengthening regulatory policy and governance of the coastal zone, land use, and regional planning and institutional capacity at central, regional and local levels; initiating targeted municipal and community investments in the southern coast to improve environmental conditions, enhance cultural resources and encourage community support for sustainable coastal zone management; and reducing soil and groundwater contamination in the former chemical plant at Porto Romano. The Project contributes to the key pillars of the government’s National Strategy for Socio-Economic Development: improved governance and strong economic growth.
The project includes the following components: integrated coastal zone management policy and institutional capacity building; coastal environmental infrastructure and rehabilitation; Porto Romano hot-spot clean-up; and project management and monitoring.
Since Albania joined the World Bank in 1991, Bank commitments to the country total approximately US$792.5 million for 57 operations.