23 April 2021
Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF held a national conference to publish the Monitoring Report “Social Services in Pandemic Times”.
During 2020 KOMF has monitored the social services decentralization process in seven municipalities and has drafted the monitoring report which aims to introduce the current situation of social services in the country.
Based on the findings of the monitoring, 2020 is considered to be the most difficult year for social service providers, among the last 20 years. This due to the damages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unstable political situation in the country. During 2020 the main focus of the central and local governments was to prevent and manage the pandemic, leaving thus aside social services.
Pandemic has increased the number of cases in need for social services, while the main part of social services provided by Kosovo institutions and nongovernmental organizations for vulnerable groups, have been closed or very limited during 2020, due to the measures to prevent Covid-19 pandemic.
Same, the two draft laws that are expected to affect decentralization and advancement of social services, Law on Social and Family Services and Law on Local Government Finance, were not approved in 2020.
Even in terms of decentralization of budget for social services, there was no progress. Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and municipalities failed in establishing a sustainable scheme of purchasing of social services. They continued support through subventions, which is not considered to be sustainable.
At the conference, the panel composed of Donjetë Kelmendi, KOMF Executive Director, Ilir Kapiti, Deputy Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers, Habit Hajredini, Executive Director at the Office for Good Governance in frame of Prime Minister Office, and Sazan Ibrahimi, Executive Director at the Association of Kosovo Municipalities, discussed the findings and recommendations derived from the report. In a virtual manner, many participants attended the conference through comments and questions related to the report.
Bukurezë Surdulli from KOMF, introduced the main findings and recommendations. Considering the bad situation of citizens due to Covid-19, Law on Local Government Finance should be proceeded immediately to ensure a sustainable financing for social services, through establishment of Specific Grant for Social Services. Establishment of a sustainable scheme is another step to be taken to improve social services. Government must also proceed the Law on Social and Family Services to divide responsibilities of institutions at central and local level and perform a deep reform in social services.