The Sustainable Development Goals in North Macedonia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in North Macedonia:
07 June 2023
European Immunization Week 2023 “Door to door” campaign in North Macedonia
European Immunization Week (EIW) is a pillar in what the World Health Organization is calling the year of ‘The Big Catch Up’ in which we are addressing a concerning decline in childhood vaccination rates across the world. Much of this decline can be attributed to impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but as we continue to fight the consequences of this devastating disease, it is important that we do not lose ground in our efforts to control and eliminate other vaccine-preventable diseases. In the WHO European Region as elsewhere, un- and under-vaccinated people remain at risk of contracting preventable diseases like measles, diphtheria and polio. Public health systems must therefore remain vigilant to track and trace any cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, and we must remind the people of this Region that every vaccine and vaccine dose counts to save lives, protect ourselves, and protect those we love. In North Macedonia, WHO has worked together with the Ministry of Health, National Immunization Committee, the Institute of Public Health, Centers of Public Health, and local Health Centers which are providing immunization services, but also with the support of other UN partners to identify under-immunized groups and expand equitable access to COVID-19 and routine vaccinations. Building on past successes, WHO is launching a novel initiative to address this issue by increasing the outreach for vaccination services at local level via door-to-door on-spot vaccination enhancing the accessibility and coverage rates through deployment of mobile vaccination teams across the country and dissemination of evidence-based informational materials on immunization. As part of this year’s WHO nation-wide campaign, а five week long “Door to door” caravan started on 24 April 2023 to address the traditionally low immunization in particular areas of the country. More than 30 medical teams are visiting families in over 120 settlements where marginalized communities live. Citizens are being informed about the health benefits of regular immunization and are at the same time offered on-the-spot COVID-19 vaccination. “In North Macedonia, WHO and all partners have worked together to identify under-immunized groups and expand equitable access to COVID-19 and routine vaccinations,” concludes Goran Kochinski, National Professional Officer for Immunization, WHO Country Office in North Macedonia. WHO, and other partners, we will overcome the obstacles brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the progress we have made in each country and the Region in protecting children and adults from life-threatening diseases will continue so that no one will be left behind.
1 of 5
07 June 2023
New WHO Initiative for Building State Capability: Strengthening the Ministry of Health Stewardship and Governance Functions
WHO initiates the enhancement of the stewardship and good governance functions at the Ministry of Health, thereby enabling a better healthcare for all. WHO supports the necessary skills development of dedicated teams to carry out, monitor and assess this initiative. Dr. Anne Johansen, Head of the WHO office in North Macedonia emphasized the novel approach of the WHO to health system reforms according to a unique method - one that tries and adjusts and then monitors the outcome and adjusts interventions again, as needed. “We have designed this initiative to support the sustainable institutional capacity development of the health sector, which sets it apart from the traditional approach of focusing solely on health systems strengthening projects. We aim to establish a strong foundation for developing the Ministry's stewardship functions to a point where it can continuously improve the performance of the entire health system” confirmed Dr. Johansen. High-ranking officials at the Ministry and stakeholders from related health agencies have manifested resolute motivation to carry out the initiative aiming to contribute to improving significantly the health outcome for all patients in the country.
1 of 5
05 May 2023
FAO and partners lay the foundation for improved seed system management in North Macedonia
A final event was held in Skopje today to present the results of an FAO regional project aimed at creating enabling environment for enhanced climate resilience in agriculture. The project involved North Macedonia, as well as Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. FAO provided support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of North Macedonia to promote domestic production of seeds and planting material, with a focus on protecting and conserving the genetic diversity of domestic varieties. The impact of climate change on seed production has serious implications for food security. Limited access and high prices of agricultural raw materials, including high-quality seed material and facilities for their production, storage, and application, further affect the efficiency and resilience of agricultural production to climate change. To address the growing demand for high-quality, climate-resilient seed material, the Macedonian Ministry of Agriculture received support from FAO to enhance the national seed system. This included improving domestic production of high-quality and climate-tolerant seeds of strategic crops and strengthening national capacities to ensure adequate seed supply to farmers. As part of the project, the Ministry worked to improve the production and certification of quality seed material and assessed national policies for seed production, distribution, and certification in the country. Together with the Agricultural Institute at the University "St. Kiril i Metodij'' Skopje, demonstration experimental fields were established in Kochani, Skopje, and Tetovo for production, testing, and multiplication of quality seed materials from several strategic crops. "High-quality and climate-resistant domestic varieties, good national seed policies and capacities to grow new and maintain local varieties - are an important step in transforming food systems in a sustainable way, improving food security, adapting to climate change in agriculture and greater competitiveness. Hence, this project is of great importance for the sustainable development of domestic agriculture'' - said Trajan Dimkovski, State Advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of North Macedonia. With FAO support, a comprehensive analysis was conducted to assess the state of North Macedonia's domestic seed system with regards to selection, conservation, production, policies, and legal framework. The analysis resulted in a set of recommendations aimed at improving the efficiency, sustainability, and climate resilience of the seed system. Key recommended measures include the development of policies for plant breeding programs, regular funding for plant breeding and conservation, educating farmers and young scientists on seed systems and techniques, creating a register of local varieties, supporting scientific institutions, fostering collaboration between specialists and authorities, ensuring public availability of registers, establishing botanical gardens, conducting multiplication trials for climate resilience, and public awareness raising on the importance of enhancing the seed systems’ climate resilience. Tania Santivanez, FAO Regional Agricultural Officer, explained that these measures, if implemented, could go a long way in transforming the Macedonian agri-food system in a sustainable way, improving food security, adapting to climate change, and enhancing competitiveness. Representatives of the Macedonian Ministry of Agriculture were also engaged in a regional training organized by FAO in Armenia. The training provided an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences with other participating countries on seed quality management, seed policies, and principles and elements of assurance and seed quality certification. Ms Kristina Mitic Arsova, FAO National Team Leader, expressed gratitude to all partners and stakeholders who had contributed to the success of the project. She emphasized that the project has laid a solid foundation for future interventions to improve the national seed system. ‘’The analyses and activities carried out so far would serve as a basis for future specific initiatives to advance the domestic seed system’’ - she concluded. LINKS: North Macedonia’s agriculture becomes more climate resilient through quality seed production https://www.fao.org/europe/news/detail/North-Macedonia-s-agriculture-becomes-more-climate-resilient-through-quality-seed-production/ FAO and North Macedonia https://www.fao.org/countryprofiles/index/en/?iso3=MKD PHOTOS: North Macedonia FAO Project ‘’Creating enabling environments for enhanced climate resilience in agriculture'' https://www.flickr.com/photos/128106072@N05/albums/72177720296177412
1 of 5
04 May 2023
Enhancing land management policy: MAFWE, EU, and FAO initiate the development of the new National Strategy on Land Consolidation
An event for lunching the preparation of the new National Strategy on Land Consolidation for the period 2022-2030 was organized in Skopje today, under the EU-funded project ‘’Enhancing Land Consolidation in North Macedonia’’, co-funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy (MAFWE). At the event, Head of the Land Consolidation Department in MAFWE, Kiril Georgievski, and FAO National Team Leader, Kristina Mitic Arsova, presented the key achievements of the National Land Consolidation Strategy 2012-2020, and lessons learned from the previous strategic period that will serve as a basis for the development of the new Strategy on Land Consolidation 2022-2030. Maxim Gorgan, Land Tenure Officer from the FAO Regional Office in Europe and Central Asia (REU), further presented the goals, objectives, and the inclusive process for the development of the new Strategy, providing a roadmap for a sustainable land policy that will foster greater efficiency and resilience of the agricultural sector over the next decade. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Ljupcho Nikolovski, highlighted the strategic importance, unwavering determination, and active engagement of the Macedonian government in addressing the challenges of agricultural land fragmentation and small-scale agricultural holdings. ‘’With the invaluable support of our partners, the European Union and FAO, we are committed to improving the competitiveness of Macedonian agricultural production, enhancing the quality of life in rural areas, and ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources – as the fundamental objectives of the previous National Strategy on Land Consolidation for 2012-2020’’ – he stated. Minister Nikolovski acknowledged the achievements of the previous National Strategy on Land Consolidation. ‘’The legal and institutional framework for land consolidation was established, capacities were strengthened, awareness was raised among farmers, financial and strategic planning foundations were laid, and land consolidation projects were successfully implemented on the ground. The fragmentation of land parcels has been significantly reduced in nine areas of the country, with consolidation reaching 4.7 times in the village of Dabjani. Improvements in the shape of parcels were also noticeable in all land consolidation areas. This success has paved the way for even more effective and sustainable land consolidation efforts in the future’’ – he pointed out. ‘’The new National Land Consolidation Strategy is a crucial tool for promoting sustainable land use and advancing the ongoing progress of structural land reform in North Macedonia's agriculture sector’’ said Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia in his opening remarks. ‘’We should take pride in the fact that the new strategy has a solid foundation to build upon, drawing from a decade of experience in land consolidation in North Macedonia, including the achievements and lessons learned from the previous strategic period’’- he added. The event convened representatives from key relevant national institutions and agencies, the association of the units of local self-governments, civil society and farmers’ organizations and the media. About the EU-funded ‘’Enhancing Land Consolidation in North Macedonia’’ Project Building directly on the results of the MAINLAND project, this project aims to assist MAFWE in further enhancing land consolidation in North Macedonia by improving the national policy on land consolidation, including strategic, legal, and institutional frameworks, as well as to continue supporting the implementation of the National Land Consolidation Programme through a full-fledged implementation of land consolidation projects in two project areas, combined with construction of agricultural infrastructure. The project also supports the preparation of a new National Strategy for Land Consolidation and Action Plan for the period 2022-2030. Several key activities, such as establishing a Project Advisory Group on land consolidation, reviewing national policies, legislation and programs to assess the results achieved in the previous strategic period, and preparing a Policy Note on multi-purpose land consolidation are currently ongoing. From May 2023 to December 2024, consultation workshops will be conducted on the draft Strategy, to facilitate stakeholder engagement and conslutations and the government approval process, followed by a public awareness-raising campaign from February 2025 to October 2025 to promote the new Strategy at country level. The Project budget is EUR 1.2 million, financed from the EU IPA II 2019 Assistance (EUR 1 million) and FAO contribution (EUR 0.2 million). The project is implemented over a period of 42 months, from August 2022 until January 2026.
1 of 5
25 April 2023
WHO representative visits Tetovo University's School of Medicine
An integral part of WHO work in North Macedonia is keeping up to date with the academic institutions where Medicine is taught. During her first visit to the Tetovo University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Anne Johansen, WHO Special Representative and Head of Office a.i. met with the high academic officials and with the students of the School of Medicine. At the meeting with the Rector of the University, Professor Dr. Kushtrim Ahmeti, the Vice Dean for International Collaboration, Associate Professor Barhdyl Dauty and with the Dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Anne Johansen was informed that the University’s own journal Akta Medica was being referenced in other international journals, proving thereby the relevance of medical sciences taught at Tetovo. The School of Medicine, accredited in 2008, now enrolls 4,000 students at the studies of general practice, dentistry, midwifery, nursing and pharmacy. They represent a third of the total of 12,000 students enrolled at all Faculties at Tetovo University. As part of their developmental activities, the School of Medicine are soon introducing specialization studies in a total of nine medical fields. Dr. Anne Johansen, speaking as Head of the WHO office in North Macedonia emphasized the approach of the WHO to the Macedonian health system reform, the initial phase of which is well underway at the Ministry of Health. University officials also expressed interest to be involved in the reform process taking place at the Ministry of Health. Outlined at the meeting were the possible areas of collaboration with the WHO in the future: lecturing on and training in health systems operation; joint research projects; visits to the WHO country office by students for a first-hand experience of how WHO works in the country; Brain gain initiatives and focus groups with students; conferences and roundtables on various topics and collaboration with Economics professors in the area of health economics. At her meeting with the students, Dr. Johansen delivered a tailor-made presentation on the organization, structure and work of WHO, followed by and engaging questions and answers session, as the human interest is centerpiece to Dr. Anne Johansen. Meeting with young people is always an opportunity to hear their thoughts, ideas and hopes for the future, to listen to the future of the country talking about their needs now. Such visits enable Dr. Johansen to make informed decisions on the ways of future work of WHO in North Macedonia.
1 of 5
1 / 11