JOEL ÇELA

The total reconstruction fund of ALL 66 billion was planned to be realized over 3 years, in line with the reconstruction process duration (2020-2022). ALL 28 billion out of this amount pertain to 2021. According to the confirmation by the Ministry of Finance, the fund for that year as of July has been realized to 49%. Previously, Minister Ahmetaj had reassured us that the reconstruction process would be complete within April 2022, but with only 9 months left until the deadline, it results that less than half of the total fund of ALL 66 billion has been realized, while if we also account for the funding yet to be disbursed by donors, the realization drops to 25% of the planned amount.

In early April 2021, the Minister of State for Reconstruction Mr. Arben Ahmetaj stated in an interview on “Report TV“ that the reconstruction process would be fully completed within 1 year.

“Our promise, based on actual reconstruction processes, is that in spring 2022, around April, there will be no trace of the November 26, 2019, earthquake left, aside from what remains in citizens’ memory” – he stated.

The realization of the reconstruction fund for 2021

The reconstruction fund amounts to ALL 66 billion, divided into 3 years of planned realization (2020-2022). The planned fund for 2020 was ALL 32 billion, for 2021 it is ALL 28 billion and for 2022 it will be ALL 6 billion.

As we have previously written, during 2021 (January-May), the largest disbursed amount is that of April, which corresponds to the electoral month. Today, with the Ministry of Finance’s update of reconstruction expenditures with two additional months (June-July), April remains the month with the largest amount. The reconstruction fund disbursement for January-July 2021 is as follows:

  1. January 2021 – ALL 6 million
  2. February 2021 – ALL 901 million
  3. March 2021 – ALL 2.046 billion
  4. April 2021 – ALL 3.929 billion
  5. May 2021 – ALL 2.287 billion
  6. June 2021 – ALL 1.682 billion
  7. July 2021 – ALL 2.930 billion

During this 7-month period, ALL 13.781 billion have been disbursed from the ALL 28 billion fund for 2021, denoting a 49% realization rate (as of July).

The total realization of the reconstruction fund

As we have previously written, only half of the reconstruction fund was realized in 2020, where ALL 16.591 billion out of the ALL 32 billion allocated fund were disbursed. As regards 2021, ALL 13.781 billion out of the planned ALL 28 billion were disbursed. As of now, ALL 30.372 billion of the reconstruction fund have been disbursed, amounting to 46% of the total ALL 66 billion fund.

This 46% disbursement has taken place over 19 months (January 2020-July 2021). There are only 9 months left for Minister Ahmetaj’s undertaking that the process will complete in April 2022 to be achieved. In order to fully realize the planned reconstruction budget, 54% of the fund would have to be realized within the remaining 9 months, which is difficult to accomplish in practice.

According to the Ministry of Reconstruction, the fund realization rate is lower than the actual bill. Referring to previous articles estimating that the ALL 66 billion budget will be supplemented with EUR 450 million by donors (EUR 300 million in grants + EUR 150 million in loans), the reconstruction bill amounts to roughly ALL 120 billion. Considering that the disbursement thus far is at ALL 30 billion for the reconstruction, the real fund realization in regards to the bill is just 25%.

With only 9 months left until the reconstruction process completion, the rate and manner of realization at the budgetary level remains to be seen.