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Loans Helping Albania Rebuild
Illyria / October 3, 1995

By Larry Luxner

Albania is seeking a flurry of World Bank loans that will benefit the country's agriculture, forestry, housing, transportation, electricity and small-business sectors. Here's a rundown of proposed projects and those currently in the pipeline:

*a $22 million forestry project now under consideration that would support policy and institutional reforms, improved forest management, forest roads rehabilitation and construction, management of communal forest and pasture areas, and protection of biodiversity. Details: Thimaq Lako, General Directorate of Forests and Pastures, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Boulevardi Deshmoret e Kombit, Tiranė. Tel: +355 42 28431. Fax: +355 42 27316.

*a $6 million agribusiness project that will address entrepreneurial support and investment credit for lending to private enterprises in agroprocessing. The entrepreneurial support component will focus on institution building, direct assistance, study tours, training and technical support to businessmen. Details: Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Livestock Processing Department, Boulevardi Deshmoret e Kombit, Tiranė. Tel: +355 42 27347. Fax: +355 42 28379.

*a major project (#CR 2732-ALB) approved May 25 that would improve 975 kilometers of rural roads using labor-intensive methods, a program of periodic maintenance by contractors; tools and equipment, and technical assistance to help strengthen preparation and implementation of labor-intensive programs and to advise the National Roads Department, local government associations and private contractors. Italy has agreed to cofinancing of $15 million. Another project, for $25 million, which will finance rehabilitation, reconstruction and upgrading of the 175-kilometer East-West, awaits an environmental assessment. Details: Fatos Bitincka, National Roads Department, Ministry of Industry, Trade, Transport and Communications, Tiranė. Tel +355 42 28198. Fax: +355 42 27773.

*an Urban Works and Micro-enterprise Pilot (#CR 2770-ALB) program to organize small urban public works to repair basic infrastructure, address environmental problems and support implementation of a small-scale credit system for potential micro-entrepreneurs. The project, approved on Aug. 1, involves $4 million in consulting services for urban work and credit components. Details: Albanian Development Fund, Tiranė. Tel: +355 42 42451.

*an $8 million housing loan to fund land development, urban upgrading and financing for private invesments. Consultants will be required for feasibility studies, environmental assessments and technical assistance during project preparation and implementation. Details: Ministry of Construction, Project Management Unit, Skenderbej Square, Tiranė. Tel: +355 42 32477. Fax +355 42 27879.

Separately, the government of Albania has applied for a $30 million credit from the International Development Association toward the cost of a proposed power transmission and distribution project. Part of the proceeds of this credit would be applied for eligible payment for the supply of equipment under the proposed project. To carry out the project, Albania will need MV metal-clad switchgears, MV/LV substations, cable and overhead lines, transformers, disconnectors and fuses. Details: Albanian Electroenergetic Corp. (KESH), Blloku "Vasil Shanto," Tiranė. Tel: +355 42 23622. Fax: +355 42 32046.

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