NGOs in KosovoA country still coping with the repercussions of conflict and economic hardships, Kosovo continues to experience a rise in food poverty. Hence, to address this issue, NGOs in Kosovo including Rahma (Mercy) and Mohanji Act Foundation, continue acting in response to the food insecurity issues affecting residents. These NGOs are implementing innovative strategies and collaborating to ensure that everyone can access nutritious meals.


Between 1998 and 1999, Kosovo went through a devastating war that resulted in the expulsion of approximately 800,000 Kosovans. However, the successful signing of the Peace Agreement enabled 90% of Albanians to return, bringing the overall population to an estimated 1,600,000. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has coordinated with around 200 humanitarian organizations to assist in rebuilding through the provision of aid, including food, medical care, shelter, water and sanitation.

Rahma Mercy

Established in 1999, the Rahma (Mercy) is an NGO that prides itself in providing assistance to alleviate suffering within the Balkan region. Supporting countries like Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia and Kosovo, the Rahma (Mercy) NGO aims to mobilize resources and people to offer affected communities emergency help, including food, water, shelter and medical care.

Generating an income of around £2.83 million in 2022, Rahma (Mercy) aims to help alleviate the effect of food poverty in Kosovo by offering grants to individuals or other organizations; providing finances or services; advocating for human rights. Its efforts have been important in helping to save lives and provide crucial aid.

While relieving food poverty is a concern, Rahma (Mercy) further prides itself on implementing projects targeted toward encouraging sustainable change, through investing in education, housing and health care.

Like many other NGOs, Rahma (Mercy) relies on the kindness and generosity of both donors and volunteers. Its dedication to transparency and accountability is evident in its open disclosure of financial information.

Mohanji Act Foundation

The Mohanji Foundation has a primary goal of reducing suffering among populations. The foundation aims to prevent and relieve poverty, through overseas aid and famine relief projects. Operating in Kosovo among many other countries like Ukraine and Sri Lanka, it achieves this by mobilizing resources such as food and water, providing services and making grants to organizations.

Additionally, it aids the homeless through their food donation programs. Its global platform, ACT4Hunger, is inspired by Mohanji and is used to facilitate food donations.

Looking Ahead

Though NGOs encounter various obstacles in providing aid, the relief efforts in Kosovo to tackle food poverty, have demonstrated the possibility of effective collaboration between local partners and the community. These organizations strive to promote sustainable change and also engage with policymakers to address the underlying causes of food poverty.

– Erdona Sopa
Photo: Unsplash

Hunger in Kosovo
In the aftermath of a civil war in the 1990s, Kosovo is riddled with hunger and poverty. Inadequacies in education, employment and healthcare all contribute to food insecurity and scarcity in Kosovo. Here is some information about poverty and hunger in Kosovo.


Kosovo is Europe’s youngest country, just inland of the Adriatic sea and is home to around 1.85 million people. Available poverty data from 2011 shows that almost one-third of the population (29.2%) lives on less than $2 per day and an additional 10% live in extreme poverty ($1.20 per day). Many households reported that aside from property, food was their most significant expense. Research indicates that in many low-income houses, as much as 40% of a household’s income went toward food.

In the 1990s, Kosovo suffered from a prolonged civil war and as a result, its economy is still recovering. Long term stability seems distant with high unemployment rates. As the USCIA reported, youth unemployment sits at 51.5% for males and 64.8% for females, making it the second-highest in the world at 55.4% (ages 15-24). Meanwhile, reports determined that the unemployment of the working-age group was 32.9%. Due to a lack of economic reforms and investments, these unemployment rates remain high and unwavering.

Protracted problems of environmental degradation, drought and biodiversity loss contribute to problems of food scarcity. Once an agriculturally sustainable area, droughts and infertility made land unfarmable. As a result, the country gradually has become less self-sufficient and is now heavily dependent upon imported goods.


Nutrition insecurity is widespread. In addition to lacking consistent access to food, it is even more difficult for people to find foods with adequate nutrition. Unsurprisingly,  obesity and anemia rates have risen due to a lack of consistent access to nutritious foods. The World Bank states that “[food] producers also face large losses on perishable and nutritious food as consumption patterns shift towards cheaper staples.” The loss of local nutritious foods further contributes to the problem of nutrition security and perpetuates health conditions like obesity and anemia.

Historically, chronic hunger as a result of poverty has characterized Kosovo. “In 1999 in Kosovo, 11,000 children older than 5 years were estimated to be acutely malnourished and about 17,000 would be affected by stunting. Over 5% of the surveyed mothers had a BMI below 18.5 and more than 10% were obese.” The same report stated that “58% of the children were anemic.” These statistics are significant obstacles to the country’s development.


While there have been considerable improvements in Kosovo’s development, there is still plenty of room to grow. Until Kosovo can reach a point of self-sufficiency, aid should go to those in need.

The good news is that there are several nonprofit organizations operating in Kosovo to help relieve some of the stressful effects of poverty on its citizens. One of these organizations is CARE International, which aims to promote peaceful resolution of conflict and stability in the country. Since its foundation in 1993, effective strategies have been petitioning to increase foreign aid, educating the public and encouraging volunteer work and fundraising for the most vulnerable communities in Kosovo.

Along with functioning nonprofit organizations, the U.N. has implemented a plan, the Stabilization Association Agreement (SAA), which establishes an official relationship between Kosovo and the E.U. Through this agreement, Kosovo has received more aid and is on a more sustainable path. “This agreement is a milestone for the E.U.-Kosovo relationship. It will help Kosovo make much-needed reforms and will create trade and investment opportunities.” The economic stability produced through this agreement will provide jobs and allow for progress within the country, eventually leading to more independent governance.

Allyson Reeder
Photo: Flickr