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Speeches Shim

Over the course of USAID’s 19-year partnership with Kosovo, our development assistance has shifted and matured to address the changing needs of a growing country.  As Kosovo now enters its second decade of independence, USAID assistance is focused on effective and transparent governance rooted in the rule of law and supportive of a strong private sector.  This is essential to helping Kosovo further integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures and to addressing the challenges of creating jobs, tackling corruption, and building bridges among Kosovo’s diverse communities.


The first years of the partnership addressed immediate post-conflict humanitarian needs and emphasized the construction and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure, including roads, schools, community health centers, and water and sanitation systems.  Initial improvements to energy-related institutions were also realized.  On the institutional side, USAID initially embedded technical staff at every level of key Kosovo institutions building organizational and human capacity from the ground up.

Since that time, USAID has been instrumental in decreasing the impediments to private sector growth – installing modern budget, taxation, and treasury processes; reducing reliance on imports and developing an improved business operating environment; and increasing sales and employment for the long-term growth of local enterprises.  Education programs have increased access to basic education and the quality of educational infrastructure, and created opportunities for higher education among Kosovo’s young population.  USAID also helped create a core legal framework for a functioning market economy, developed a constitution, established a constitutional court, instituted an electoral system, and re-invigorated a now thriving civil society.  USAID has also strongly supported an array of programs that promote reconciliation and participation among all ethnicities in Kosovo.

Current Focus

USAID has transitioned from starting up economic ministries and independent agencies to enhancing the ability of these public organizations to manage the overall economy.  USAID continues to help private enterprises enter new markets, develop new products, and advance labor skills and productivity.  Improvements to the regulatory and business-enabling environment increase foreign and domestic investment and private sector employment, while the new Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF) complements this effort by increasing access to finance for small businesses.  USAID support at the firm-level increases the quality and quantity of industry and agricultural production and ties these businesses with potential buyers, including in the EU.

On the democracy and governance side, USAID improves judicial effectiveness, increases efficiency, and strengthens transparency in the justice sector.  Following the milestone October 2017 integration of Serb judicial authorities into Kosovo’s government, USAID is focused on ensuring fully-functioning courts in northern Kosovo.  USAID is making judicial services related to property rights faster and more efficient and increasing women’s access to property, while commercial law reform efforts are improving efficiency and effectiveness of commercial dispute resolution.  The mission is strengthening accountability and addressing corruption at the municipal level by increasing the transparency and effectiveness of municipal procurement systems.  Additional activities that increase municipal capacity to deliver services also ensure that Kosovo institutions are accessible and responsive to Kosovo’s non-majority populations.