Tirana, 7 July 2015 – The Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) presented today the “National Youth Action Plan 2015-2020” at the premises of the National History Museum.

The National Youth Action Plan, prepared by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, includes six (6) general objectives and twenty-nine specific objectives accompanied by detailed cost for each activity; 76 percent of the costs are covered by the state budget.

“The National Youth Action Plan 2015-2020,” reflects the Albanian government’s commitment to youth, and includes cross-cutting policies, costed objectives and activities, which, if realized and successfully implemented, will further affect the socio-economic development of youth”, – emphasized the Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Blendi Klosi.

Today’s generation of adolescents and young people in the world has reached 1.8 billion – the largest number that the world has ever seen. In Albania, young people constitue 24 percent of the population.

“This should be seen as a demographic dividend, that can bring prosperity to the country if there is full commitment to the implementation of the National Youth Action”, – said Mrs. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, UN Resident Coordinator and Representative of UNFPA in Albania.

The National Youth Action Plan 2015-2020 is the first of its kind developed in extensive consultation with 12,000 young people all over the country, prepared by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, in close cooperation with all ministries, written by experts of the field, and supported throughout the whole process of drafting to publication and launching by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). For the first time this Action Plan is budgeted to details and constitutes an effort to map all the resources available from the leading Ministry, from line ministries and contributions by donors in support of youth in the next five years.

The vision of the National Youth Action Plan, which goes in line with the Government Programme for Youth and the National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI), is to create appropriate conditions and a safe social, health and political environment for an active youth, which is equal in all areas of life and has a consolidated status for their future.

The Action Plan aims at six strategic objectives and relevant areas:

1. Promote youth participation in the democratic processes/decision-making

2. Promote youth employment through effective labor market policies

3. Health, sports and the environment

4. Youth Education

5. Social Protection

6. Culture and voluntarism

“… We must not forget in any moment that this is only the beginning, this is only the first step. The real challenge is before us, because young people will not judge or appreciate us from words written on paper, but from concrete changes they will feel in their lives”, – stated the Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Edi Rama in his dedication to the Action Plan.