To: Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen
Commission of the European Union
Dear Mrs. Von der Leyen,
Allow me to address you through this open letter, as the Director of CRCA/ECPAT Albania, the oldest child and youth rights organization in the country, to ask for your support as President of the EU Commission, to save from hunger and possibly death, at least 100,000 children in Albania, who live in extreme poverty.
I would not have taken such a step if I had not seen in my Government a complete and unprecedented negligence in organizing and implementing a support program with food, clothing and shelter for all these children.
This large number of children was not created within the day! They have been here for a long time, but my Government has chosen to forget them! If that were not enough, many international organizations operating in Albania, such as UNICEF etc., have also opted to remain silent or do nothing.
Due to the Covid19 lockdown, these children have been placed in extreme survival conditions, and no one knows if they will survive!
Their families are mostly unemployed, with many children and little opportunity to care for their children properly. Being locked up at home has also taken away few opportunities they may have for a daily or seasonal job, while the economic assistance provided by the Government is so minimal that it is not enough to feed a single child. Imagine being a family of 4 or 6 and surviving by sharing a single person's meal!
This reality is not unknown. About 2 weeks ago, we sent an open letter to our Government before it announced its plan to support the economy and the citizens! We expected the Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament to respond to our request, but to date no answer! I believe you are aware, as much as I am, that in my country corruption and organized crime wreak havoc on the highest levels, so I believe no one should be surprised when 100,000 children are forgotten and hungry by the Government!
I really fear for the lives of these children and therefore I decided to address You with this open letter! You are a friend of Albania. But beyond that, you are the leader of the European Union and through your decisions, you have shown that you are always close to the citizens, wherever they are! Just a few days ago, the EU provided Albania with a financial support of about 50m euros. While this is considerable help, to my conviction, it does not foresee the support for our poor and vulnerable children!
I would be deeply grateful to you to consider my request and use all your human power and the mechanisms at your disposal to make part of the EU assistance also 100,000 children from Albania! Together we can save them from hunger while give them far more better opportunities than of those they face today.
Altin Hazizaj Executive Director