Summer is nearly here and I’m so proud of all that we have achieved over the last few months. Since arriving in Tirana in late January, my team and I have established our program office and signed a Framework Agreement with the Ministry of Environment of Albania—two very important milestones in furthering PONT’s successful future.
PONT’s Regional Program Office (RPO) officially opened its doors in May in the center of Tirana. The local presence has given me the opportunity to work closely with regional partners and stakeholders—ensuring that PONT’s support is coordinated and sustainable.
I’m very happy to announce that we have two staff members-—Suela Mehmeti joins PONT as PONT RPO’s Office Manager and Rrezearta Ago will be supporting the development of the PONT Grant Program. I’m delighted to welcome both of them, and look forward to sharing their experience and expertise with our partners.
In program related news, the Framework Agreement between PONT and the Ministry of Environment of Albania was signed on 24 May 2017 paving the way for the first pilot grants in Albania to start in the second half of 2017. We are continuing to work with Greece and the FYR of Macedonia on establishing a framework agreement and I’m hopeful that upcoming meetings will outline the next steps. In June I have already planned several meetings in Skopje and Prespa and am looking forward to meeting many of you soon.
In cooperation with PrespaNet, we are continuing to work on the preliminary five-year strategy for PONT. A first version of the grant guidelines and monitoring framework have been approved by PONT’s Supervisory Board and will be tested with pre-selected partners before being published.
I’m thrilled with the progress we’ve made and I look forward to updating you again as PONT develops.
– Mirjam de Koning
Executive Director of PONT