Kosovo municipalities faced relatively well with COVID-19 pandemic06.05.2020
The Alliance of four non-governmental organizations (Syri i Vizionit, Communication for Social Development (CSD), EC Ma Ndryshe and Democracy Plus (D +) for the implementation of the program "Active Citizenship and Responsible Municipalities in Kosovo") has conducted the research on how Kosovo municipalities have responded and how they have dealt with the situation created by COVID-19 pandemic. The data of this research reflect the situation until April 24, 2020.
The research was conducted through an online questionnaire with 22 questions, which was sent to all 38 municipalities of Kosovo. Of these, 32 municipalities responded, while 6 of them did not provide an answer to this research.
Findings of this research lead to the conclusion that the municipalities of Kosovo, taking into account their capacities and budget, have faced relatively well the situation created by the pandemic COVID-19. According to these findings, the municipalities have had relatively good communication with the central level and with their citizens, who have largely respected the measures of the Government of Kosovo. All this has affected the number of infected and fatal cases compared to the countries of the region or even wider to be relatively lower.
Nevertheless, the main challenges that Kosovo municipalities still face are:
- Lack of funds from the central level for additional protective equipment in combating and preventing the spread of COVID-19;
- Lack of the larger number of tests regarding suspected cases with COVID-19;
- Increase of the number of families with grave economic situation and increased demands for food and hygiene packages;
- Closure of many private businesses;
- Concerns from the agricultural sector;
- Uncertainties about movement permits for citizens and businesses from MIAPA;
- Uncertainties about the functioning of different types of businesses by MEPTINIS;
- Small number of municipal inspectors.
Recommendations given by this research are:
- The central, local and civil society level to work on the continuous awareness raising of citizens about respecting preventive measures and mitigating the consequences of pandemics;
- Government of Kosovo to draft a comprehensive economic package for the private sector;
- More structured coordination and consultation of the Government of Kosovo with the municipalities regarding the protection and preventive measures to be taken in the future;
- Municipalities to activate and functionalize Local Councils for better communication with citizens;
- Municipalities to seek professional help from various organizations and companies to cope with the state of pandemic.
The non-governmental organizations: Syri i Vizionit, Communication for Social Development (CSD), EC Ma Ndryshe and Democracy Plus (D +) have formed an alliance to implement the “Active Citizenship and Responsible Municipalities in Kosovo" program, which is supported by Olof Palme International Center. This program aims to involve and make citizens part of decision making.