Skip to main content

Another TLA

I thought I had heard of most international organisations but here in Tirana I have discovered a new one – the International Organisation for Migration. Set up in 1951 to manage the movement of peoples in the aftermath of the war, IOM now works worldwide in close cooperation with the UN to help manage migration for the benefit of all. They have been in Albania since 1992 and have worked with the government here to develop a national strategy on migration and a educational programme on human trafficking.

One of their recent projects resulted in a proposal for the development of a sustainable social housing programme for vulnerable people. The housing stock in Albania is generally in very poor condition, yet often the new apartment buildings are beyond the budget of many ordinary Albanians. A sixth floor apartment in a building currently under construction that I saw recently is selling for 30,000 Euro. That may not sound like much to most of us, but it is a huge amount of money for people in this country.

The Albanian government aspires to solve the problem of the lack of good quality social housing within ten years – this is a similar timeframe to that other great aspiration of EU membership, and about as realistic. Hence the importance of projects like that being developed by IOM.

You may be wondering why I am telling you all this. IOM wanted someone to work on the English version of the report from this project and kindly offered me the job – my first job in Albania, and my first real employment in nearly two years. Unfortunately, it is only a short term contract, but naturally enough I am now convinced that IOM are jolly good eggs and sound chaps all round. You can read all about them here, and about their work in Albania here. If that's not enough for you, you can find out about the social housing project here.


annabengan said…
Nice blog! Hahaha - the world is so small - seems like we have the same employers you and me! Keep up the good blogging spirit. Cheers,
Peter said…

Glad to hear that you're working with the IOM. We've been working with them here in Tallinn on trafficking. Glad to know that they've got you with them in Tirana.

Popular posts from this blog

50 Ways to Make Some Money

The death of communism in Albania brought a flourishing market economy to life just as it did across Central Europe and Russia. On the streets of Tirana people are buying and selling, trading goods and services in predictable, or sometimes novel, ways. The shops are the most obvious expression of this. The streets are lined with little stores selling almost everything you could want. Freed from the choking grip of state bureaucracy Albanians are now at liberty to buy whatever they can afford. No matter how absurd the demand, someone will create the supply. Hence the preponderance of shoe stores in this city of muddy streets and torn up footpaths. Especially outlandish is the fashion for high heeled white boots - about as impractical a style of footware as could be imagined. Dotted across the city are the market stalls, sometimes just one person selling bananas, elsewhere a whole street lined with sellers of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and spices. Those who cannot bring thei…


Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Petrela Castle

This is Petrela Castle near Tirana. The site has been fortified since the 4th century, but the oldest surviving parts are from the 13th century. Today the castle is a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch while taking in the views.