Albania + 2 more

Impending Crisis in Kosovo and Emergency Response in Albania

News and Press Release
Originally published
Weekly Update - August 24, 1998
In Kosovo, IRC staff is delivering water and sanitation/hygiene kits to people stranded in the mountains having fled the fighting between Serb and KLA forces. More than 200,000 have been displaced. In Albania, Emergency Coordinator Hugh Fenton and Program Officer Peter Spink have arrived to implement a program to provide emergency shelter for refugees who have crossed into Albania, one of the poorest countries in Europe. More than 14,000 people have arrived and, although Albanians have taken many into their homes, as winter approaches and food stocks dwindle, their hospitality will not be able to meet the needs of everyone. IRC will renovate hospitals, schools and other public buildings to increase the availability of shelter.

In Washington, IRC advocacy efforts have attempted to focus the attention of the U.S. government and international agencies on the impending humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. Villages and agricultural crops have been burned. Thousands stranded in the forests will be without shelter or food, and winter arrives in the next six to eight weeks. Access to these people is critical if an enormous human disaster is to be avoided. A loose coalition of human rights and humanitarian aid workers on the ground are collaborating to ensure that accurate information reaches public policy decision-makers.

Lorna Stevens, Director, Board Liaison and Special Projects