The small country of Kosovo is named after the field of blackbirds just outside of today’s capital Pristina. The consequences of the Kosovo war at the end of the 1990s are still felt strongly by the population, particularly young people from disadvantaged minorities. Kosovo is in the region of Europe most severely affected by the impacts of the climate crisis and by poverty. Agriculture plays an important economic role in Kosovo.

© Caritas Switzerland

Low wages and general dissatisfaction with public services are widespread among the Kosovar population. Unemployment is a major problem, particularly for women and young people. Caritas Switzerland began its involvement with humanitarian aid straight after the war. Today, the focus of the work is on fighting poverty in the long term, for example by strengthening the education system and creating income opportunities.

Overview in figures

Sources: Human Development Report, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, USAID (as of 2022)

  • Total population: 1,8 million
  • Poverty index (proportion of people affected by poverty): 24,4%
  • Prosperity indicator (total 191 states): rank 85
  • Gross National Income per capita: USD 14'131
  • Life expectancy at birth: 73,7 years (f) and 68,6 years (m)
  • Child mortality: 23/1'000 births
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 5,9 tons

Caritas projects in the country

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Caritas Switzerland on site

Header image: Education is an important pillar in fighting poverty and promoting equal rights in Kosovo. © Andreas Schwaiger