Economic revival after years of isolation
Until the end of the 1980s, Albania was shaped by decades of dictatorship, poverty was widespread and the country was isolated from the rest of the world. Germany has been supporting the country's transformation since 1988. Albania has developed both from a social and economic perspective since this period, despite the negative impact of the European debt crisis on the country's economy. Albania has been a EU candidate country since 2014, and is one of the most important partner countries in development cooperation in South East Europe. At the outset, the main focus was on tackling poverty. In the meantime, the German government is supporting Albania to move closer to EU standards and is active in environmental and climate protection issues. KfW primarily supports projects in the energy sector (energy efficiency and renewable energy) and in municipal infrastructure (water, wastewater, waste disposal). A third focal area is sustainable economic development (promoting employment and vocational training).