Skip to main content

Going Down

The World Bank recently reported that poverty in Albania has fallen significantly between 2002 and 2003. In 2002 25.4% of the population were defined as poor; by 2005 that figure been reduced to 18.5%. This means that 235,000 people have been lifted out of poverty. At the same time there has not been any noticable increase in income inequality. Albania's Gini coefficient has shifted only slightly over the same period - from 28.2 to 28.6.

According the World Bank, this reduction in poverty has been brought about almost entirely as a result of Albania's economic growth which has averaged 6% per year since 1998. Moreover, the Bank claims that it is the poor who have benefitted most from growth. The Bank's conclusion is that:
To maintain the momentum in poverty reduction, there is a need to remain on the reform path that has led to sustained economic growth, including maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment, improving the investment climate for private sector development, governance, improving public provision of social services (education, health and social assistance) and expanding infrastructure. In addition, addressing the specific obstacles that rural populations face, will accelerate future gains in poverty reduction.
A presentation of the findings is available here.


Genc said…
Hehe. According to the CIA factbook, UK had 17% of its population living in poverty in 2002.

Interesting.... :D
Anonymous said…
I hate to play the eternal cynic but it is ironic to watch the WB proclaim the success of its measures. Albania was lauded by the bank a few years ago too, precisely before the 1997 collapse, and even then we were doing very well!
Anonymous said…
Nice blog, Alwyn... can you pls get in touch with me at jeffvm -at- gmail -dot- com? Thanks, Jeroen.
ourmanintirana said…
Yes, the UK has a serious poverty problem especially because child poverty rates are so high. In fact poverty rates are much higher now than they were 20 years ago. As most people have gotten much wealthier, an increasing minority has been left behind.

Of course, poverty is always measured relative to income, so poor people in wealthier countries are always better off than poor people in poor countries - or even than realtively wealthy people in poor countries.

I was alao interested to note that the WB and all the other experts and advisors were no more able than the Albanian govenrment to identify and head of the power crisis in November.

Jeroen, I will be in touch.

Popular posts from this blog


And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …


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.

Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
As we were leaving they were boarding a large coach which I had seen a number of times around the city in the last few days for their next trip. I'm not sure how some of them made it up the steps, or how they managed to sit down, but perhaps these are the kinds o…