Innovations from Serbia Help North Macedonia and Albania to Respond to COVID-19

Source: eKapija Tuesday, 19.04.2022. 11:53
Illustration (Photo: Nucleartist/
Innovations from Serbia which help North Macedonia and Albania to mitigate social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic were presented at the United Nations building in Skopje. The implementation of these solutions has been supported by the Government of the Republic of Serbia, through official development help which it provides to North Macedonia and Albania within the “Open Balkans” initiative, in order to contribute to a quicker recovery of these two countries from the crisis, says the announcement by the UNDP.

A total of 6 innovative solutions were selected through the Challenge that was launched last year by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The aim of this public invitation was to enable innovators from Serbia to transfer their knowledge and expertise in response to COVID-19 to partner companies and organizations in North Macedonia and Albania.

– The long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lead to an increase in the number of people who are at the risk of poverty, regression in the fields of education and healthcare and deepening of inequalities between people. This kind of a development threatens to jeopardize the already made progress, but also the future progress in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. The UNDP supports the joint response of the countries of the Western Balkans to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to help them adequately respond to the current challenges and build resilience to this and future crises – said Sanja Bojanic, the deputy resident representative of the UNDP in North Macedonia.

According to Nevena Jovanovic, the ambassador of Serbia to North Macedonia, the support that the companies from Serbia provided to their partner companies from North Macedonia and Albania within this initiative is an excellent example of how ideas, which the “Open Balkans” initiative is based on, were realized in practice in a very short amount of time.

– In addition to improving regional cooperation, this initiative also opens the door to the further direct connecting of companies from the countries-participants in the Open Balkans – added Ambassador Jovanovic.

Danijel Nikolic, the assistant secretary general of the Government of Serbia, pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had reminded us how important regional cooperation, such as the “Open Balkans” initiative, was as an efficient response to such crises.

– Through the official development help within this initiative, Serbia has secured close to USD 200,000 to support North Macedonia and Albania to recover more quickly from the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. Thanks to these funds, innovators from Serbia transferred their knowledge and expertise to partners in North Macedonia and Albania – stated Nikolic.

Nola Ismajloska, a representative of the “Open Balkans” initiative, pointed out that the region has shown that it can alone launch new activities which contribute to a greater economic integration, which is good for the economies and the citizens from the involved countries, as well as for attracting foreign investors. Ismajloska noted that she was looking forward to the joining of new members to the initiative and the expansion of cooperation, with the support of the UNDP, in other fields as well, such as culture, tourism, education.

Four companies from Serbia have helped their partner companies in North Macedonia to develop an algorithm for the optimally precise interpretation of the results of testing for COVID-19 antibodies, a web and mobile app for remote access to healthcare services, a free digital tool for remote learning and a digital solution for a more efficient management of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in industry.

Two companies from Serbia have enabled their partners in Albania to implement a quick antigen test for detecting the coronavirus at an early stage of the infection even in patients without symptoms and to develop a digital platform for assessing the impact of new investment projects on the living environment and the society.

The implementation of innovative solutions from Serbia as a response to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in North Macedonia and Albania is supported within the project “The Framework for the Acceleration of the Achieving of Sustainable Development Goals”, financed by the Government of Serbia and carried out by the UNDP.

UNDP Beograd UNDP Beograd
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