About 16.7% of the population is estimated to be extremely poor, with less than € 0.94/day per consumption for basic nutritional needs. About 45% of the population - two out of five Kosovars - is considered to be poor. These are individuals who live with under € 43/month. Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas and among minority groups. Kosovo has the highest unemployment rate in Europe. Around 45.4% of the labor force is unemployed; women and youth are the most disadvantaged. Children also fall under the most vulnerable demographic groups in Kosovo. Around 15.5% of them face stunting (hindrance in growth) and inadequate nutrition. Around 15.7% children of school age and 23% of pregnant women are tested with mild anemia.
Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: Today more people live in extreme poverty than ten years ago. The biggest challenge for Kosovo will be to bring this part of population out of destitution. Unemployment rate continues to be highest in Europe. Although slight improvement could be seen in 2009, Kosovo’s capacity to generate jobs remains limited. Employment level has shown slight positive progress. However, the economy of Kosovo faces difficulties to accommodate the large number of people coming into the labor force each year. Poverty reduction cannot be accomplished without full and productive employment and decent work for all.
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Enrollment ratio among children is universal at all levels except in higher secondary education where the dropout rate increases. The number of drop outs among girls is higher than boys. Children with special needs remain disadvantaged. It is considered that only one out of ten children with special needs is enrolled in primary school. The opportunities for further continuation of their education remain weak. Children belonging to minority communities, such as Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, Turk and Gorani have a lower rate of enrollment and attendance.Literacy rate among 15-24 years-olds is not fully universal. Around 4.6% of youth remain illiterate, with rural areas and women more disadvantaged.
Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: Achieving universal primary education means more than full enrollment and literacy. It also means that children receive quality education which could prepare them for upper level education, better skills and employment opportunities.Progress has been made when it comes to achieving universal primary education for all children in Kosovo. However, the challenge still remains to provide better conditions for enrollment to children with special needs, minority and vulnerable groups who normally do not have access to basic education.Progress in the ratio of attendance between girls to boys in all levels of education has been little. The gap widens in the upper level of education where for every 100 boys, there are only 80 girls. An equal participation in education is essential to ensuring a bright future and perspective for all the population of Kosovo.
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Kosovo ranks with 0.76 on the Gender Development Index, the lowest in the Balkan region. Gender disparity in Kosovo remains an issue of concern. Although figures show a less negative position of girls in the education system, it can be clearly noted that they are disproportionately represented in all levels of education.Women are disadvantaged in the economic sector. Unemployment continues to be a big challenge for women. Of those women who are a part of labor force (only 28.4%), only 12% are thought to have a permanent full-time job. Only 6% (SOK 2009) of women account for Kosovo’s business owners. The representation of women in the Assembly of Kosovo is positive, and second highest in the region; this is mainly due to electoral quota put in place. However, women do not enjoy enough influence in decision-making processes of political party structures. The number of women in decision-making positions remains minimal. None of the municipalities or municipal assemblies is led by women; only two of 17 ministries of the central government are have women ministers.
Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: Progress has been made in a number of areas. The illiteracy rate for women continues to fall, however there is still a visible gap between percentage of literate men and women. Also, a significant gender gap remains in both rural and RAE communities. The ratio of boys to girls in primary education is unchanged since the 2004 report at 52:48. This number falls to 44% for girls in the latter grades of secondary education. Also, a significant gender gap remains in both rural and Roma communities. The numbers of women in Kosovo’s parliament has increased from 28% in 2004 to 31% in 2010. Kosovo’s Gender Empowerment Indicator ranks higher, due to 30% of seats in parliament; it scores 0.465, placing Kosovo approximately in 52nd place globally.
Despite slight improvements, the health sector remains one of the most vulnerable amongst public service sectors in Kosovo.The child health status in Kosovo is considered the poorest compared to the rest of Europe and neighboring countries. The infant mortality rate is considered between 35 to 49 per 1,000 live births, whereas under-five mortality rate even higher: 69 per 1,000 live births (DHS 2003, SOK).The immunization services are functional with average 95% of children vaccinated and financed by the governmental budget. In 2009, 94% of children are vaccinated against Measles, Mumps and Rubella – MMR antigens (National Institute of Public Health - NIPH 2009). Immunization coverage remains much lower among Roma, Ashkalia, Egyptian communities.Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: Progress is difficult to measure on the health of children and health in general considering the quality of data available. Perinatal mortality rate continues to be on a positive declining trend: from 29.1/1000 lives in 2000 to 19.3/1000 lives in 2009 (Perinatal Situation in Kosovo for 2000 – 2009, Immunization against measles continues to remain at a high level. Minority groups such as Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities and children from rural areas face more difficulties in getting immunized.
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The maternal health status in Kosovo is considered to be among the poorest compared to the neighboring countries and rest of Europe. Maternal mortality ratio poses great concern. 12 Maternal deaths have officially been registered in 2009. (Perinatal Situation in Kosovo for 2000 – 2009). It is estimated that around 43.3 mothers die in 100,000 births. Access to health personnel during birth is at a relatively high level with 98.0% of births attended by skilled health personnel. Quality and access to antenatal care not fully satisfactory. In 2009 it is reported that the number of antenatal visits has been more than 4 in 78.1% of the cases, whereas only 4.2 attended only 1 visit (Antenatal Care in Kosovo: Quality and Access, UNICEF, 2009). Most antenatal visits were ultrasound which is not the proper and quality care. Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities receive poorer quality care.Correlation between poor health services and maternal mortality ratio is quite strong. Reports reveal some concerning information in terms of quality of services where 16.5% of women claim that they were not offered any health advice for pregnancy; there is still a high percentage of cases (from 15 to 45 percent depending on region), where the decision for an antenatal visit is made by somebody else instead of the pregnant women, and 12.9 percent of women confirmed that they smoked during pregnancy.
Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: This particular Goal on mother’s health is difficult to measure considering the quality of data available. Most of these data are outdated as they go back to 2003. There are several ongoing researches by UN Agencies. The results of these researches will be available at a later date.Maternal mortality ratio shows an increasing negative trend from 2000 to 2009 where the number of maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 births is doubled to 43.21. Although data suggests that there was a decline from 2004-2007, it cannot be determined since the reporting and quality of data is still disputable. The percentage of women practicing forms of contraception has increased from 2003 to 2006 by 8%. However, the increase is still far from universal among all women in Kosovo. Further advocacy, education about the use as well as supply of contraceptives is necessary.
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Based on existing data and UNAIDS classification system Kosovo remains a low – level HIV epidemic place, but factors that increase risk HIV transmission remain high: high poverty and unemployment rate, increased number of drug users, sex work related with crime, stigmatized and discriminated Man having sex with man (MSM) community, high percentage of youth among general population, with changing social norms including sexual behavior, presence of the large mobile population. The risk factors become more potential in a health sector with difficulties in responding to the needs of different groups of population with a low level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among youth in Kosovo.During 2009 there were 6 new registered cases with HIV, of those 5 male and 1 female, of those 2 children 2 and 4 years old (first child cases registered). During 2000 – 2009, 44 HIV cases were registered of those 8 AIDS developed and 6 died. Kosovo has the largest incidence of tuberculosis in Europe. Incidence rate of tuberculosis in 2009 has been registered as 43 in 100,000 people.
Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: Number of HIV/AIDS cases is relatively small in Kosovo. However, HIV/AIDS registered cases have increased after the 2000. This was attributed to functional structures, service provision at the Voluntary Counseling Testing Centers and numerous health promotion programs mainly financed by donor community. In 2005, the number of new cases reported was half of the figure reported for 2001, while the number of recurrent cases decreased to more than half of that reported in 2001 (from 105 cases in 2001, to 40 in2005).The incidence of tuberculosis has shown a positive decreasing trend. Tuberculosis incidence rate has halved from 85.9% in 2000 to 43% in to 2009.
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Only 4.25% of Kosovo’s territory is under protected natural areas, counting a surface of 46 437 /ha. Another 195 areas are proposed to be protected accounting for more than 50000 hectares. When such initiatives will take place, Kosovo will have protected almost 10% of its land area, which could help meet the target.Degradation of forests (over-harvesting of fuel wood, illegal hunting, spread of fire, illegal trade of species, un-controlled and illegal construction, sand and gravel mining in rivers and mountains) has a negative effect on protection of biodiversity, extinction of species and habitat loss. Dragash region contains most of the rare and endangered species in Kosovo. There are 27 taxa of rare and endangered plant species, and 10 taxa of protected species of rare and endangered mammals. If no adequate institutional attention is given to the protection of these species, Kosovo runs the risk to allow some of them to go extinct.
Around 73% of the population is supplied by the water management system. Of the total quantity of water produced, only 50% is sold, the other 50% is either lost from the system through leakages (technical losses) or not billed (commercial losses).Around 27% of the population uses other water supplies, mostly household wells. The quality of water from wells is not controlled or disinfected; users are prone to toxics, infections and diseases. There is no wastewater treatment in Kosovo. Sewerage is dispersed into open areas. The first urban wastewater treatment plant has been constructed in Skenderaj but it is not yet fully operational.Around 71% of Albanians, 69% of Serbs and 80% of other minorities are connected to sewerage systems. The rest of the population mostly uses septic holes. There is no system for monitoring sewage discharge and treatment of municipal wastewater is virtually non-existent. Only a few, Kosovo Force (KFOR) camps and the hospital complex of Pristina have biological treatment plants.
Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: The environmental situation in Kosovo requires extensive research, analysis and evaluation; the outcomes require new and reliable data. Lack thereof, makes it difficult to determine the progress on the field. Overall environmental situation in Kosovo continuous to be worrisome, with some observations from the field which show no significant improvement o date. Contamination of water bodies by discharging wastewater to the rivers is continuing, as there is no wastewater treatment plant. Pollution of air due to operation of power plants, traffic and other industrial facilities remains the same. Kosovo environmental legislation is building up and it is being harmonized with the EU legislation. However, enforcement and implementation of laws is still weak.
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The official development assistance by developed countries continues to be crucial in supporting Kosovo to face its developmental challenges and balance its accounts. Since 1999, the donor community has been heavily involved in developmental and institution building efforts in Kosovo. The development aid still accounts for a considerable portion of the GDP of Kosovo. Access to technology (telephones, computers and internet) is widely available throughout Kosovo, but not fully universal. Remote areas, minority groups, the poor, elders and other vulnerable groups have difficulties to be in possession of technology due to mainly lack of financial, infrastructural or technical capacities. The population in the urban areas has easier access to technology; private sector is more prevalent and focused since the larger portion of the market could be found in populated areas.
Current Progress: Achievements and Shortfalls: Although still high, development aid has decreased over years as Kosovo has moved away from post-conflict recovery and into a higher degree of institutional and economic maturity. During the Kosovo Donor Conference 2008 in Brussels, the international community has pledged around $1.2 billion of aid for the period of 2009 - 2013. European Union and the United States remain as the largest donors. The Directorate for Coordination of Development at the Ministry of European Integration has become operational and is in charge of implementing the coordination of donors as well as promoting an increase of efficiency of aid. Aid Management Information Platform has been established in 2010, including major donors in Kosovo. A detailed report on donations and ODA will be launched by end of 2010. Additional coordination capacities are needed in order to ensure proper flow of information and a reliable database on aid management. Access to technology has become more prevalent since 2000. There has been an increasing positive trend, especially with mobile telephones, computers and internet. Access to internet has increased from 2% of population in 2003 to 45% in 2009. Similar increase can be seen with computers and mobile telephones.
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