Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe with an average daily income of about £3.00, compared to £46.60 in the UK. Following the collapse of communism, conditions improved slightly as economic and diplomatic ties with the rest of the world were restored. Yet the services widely available under communism have deteriorated badly. One-third of children under five have no access to pre-school. Rates of infant and maternal mortality are high and many essential primary health care services are in need of investment.
Children in Albania face risks from many directions in particular child trafficking. Various estimates place the total number of trafficked children at 5,000 to 15,000, most of them ending up in Italy or Greece, or even Western Europe. During the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, nearly 500,000 ethnic Albanians fled from Kosovo to Albania, putting great strain on Albania's already fragile economy and limited resources.