Project continues work as Albania tackles COVID-19 pandemic
24 April 2020
As Albania and the rest of the world tackle the COVID-19 threat, the Food Safety Project has continued its operations in areas where tasks can be completed under the restrictions set to fight the pandemic and through remote work. For example, this week, a series of videos presenting the mission and vision of Albania’s National Food Authority -- produced with the assistance and under the guidance of the project -- went live on YouTube and will soon be distributed on NFA's social media channels.
The project is also working with local partners in several other areas, ranging from virtual food safety education to strategic planning.
Albania, like many other countries, is following the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding the introduction of physical distancing measures as one of the ways in which transmission of the disease can be reduced. The application of these measures has resulted in the closure of many businesses, schools and education institutions, and restrictions on travel and gatherings.
While the project has had to reschedule tasks that are not possible under social distancing requirements and other measures taken to fight the spread of the virus -- including events, workshops and other meetings -- the project’s communication with local partners and availability to assist continue.
In the midst of these tough times, Albania received some positive news on 24 March as the European Union agreed to open accession talks with the country, a loud and clear message not only to Albania, but to the Western Balkans as a whole, reaffirming and delivering on EU's commitment to the region.
For the project and its Albanian partners, the news infused new energy into ongoing efforts to prepare Albania to meet EU standards on food safety and related areas.
As everyone grapples with these unprecedented circumstances, the Food Safety Project team continues to express its solidarity with the people of Albania, keeping operations active and looking for ways to make progress on existing tasks and finding new opportunities where it can provide support relevant to COVID-19.
The project hopes to provide appropriate and practical guidance for Albanian entities to consider when implementing food safety procedures and ensuring food business continuity.