Albania

Geneva-based NGO launches daily radio program for Kosovar refugees in Albania

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The Geneva-based International Centre for Humanitarian Reporting/Radio Partnership is sending a team of professional radio and humanitarian reporters to establish a daily radio programme for Kosovar refugees in Albania. The team is working in collaboration with the Soros Media Peace Centre in Tirana, Albania.
The radio program will be broadcast throughout Albania on Radio Tirana and local private radio stations. It will be produced by the ICHR team working in partnership with a group of Albanian journalists from Radio Tirana and local private stations. The morning and evening programs- each a half hour- will focus on humanitarian information destined specifically for the Kosovar refugee population, including public health information, on-site logistics, communiques from the relief agencies operating in the field, psycho-social support, missing persons, and programs designed specifically for children.

There are currently more than four hundred thousand refugees in Albania whose only information on their humanitarian plight is being supplied by international broadcasters operating from London, Washington or Cologne. In the ICHR/Soros initiative, reporters operating locally will be able to supply refugees with up-to-date programming to meet their changing needs for information. The radio production team will co-ordinate their activities with relief organisations operating in Albania.

Information in times of crises is crucial for the affected population. Many of the Kosovar refugees arriving in Albania and Macedonia are highly traumatised, unsure of their immediate or long-term futures. Programs which focus on explaining the symptoms many of these refugees are experiencing can be a first-step in providing relief.

In addition, in volatile refugee situations, rumour is a dangerous phenomenon which can result in massive movements of populations or outbreaks of violence. Accurate and credible information is an essential tool in combating rumours.

This project is initially envisaged for three months but may continue as long as needed. It is funded by the British Department for International Development, and the Soros Foundation.

The project leader is Loretta Hieber of the ICHR . Other team members include Edward Girardet-special advisor, Gordon Adam- Head of specialised programming and Tim Weaver-in- field supervisor. The Soros Foundation team is led by Bardhyl Minxhozi of the Media Training Center.

Moyra Rushby, ICHR Co-ordinator
International Centre for Humanitarian Reporting
Villa Grand Montfleury, Versoix, Geneva, CH1290, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 950 0750 Fax +41 22 950 0752, E-mail: info.ichr@ties.itu.int