Albania + 3 more

WFP Bi-Weekly Balkan Operations Situation Report: 7 March 2000

EMOP 6136.01- Food assistance to refugees, IDPs and social cases in the Balkan region
The Bi-Weekly Balkan Operations Sitrep is published on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Countries covered
Commodity Commitment (MT)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania Cereals
Total Net Needs*
Beneficiaries of EMOP 6136.01
January - March
April - June
July - December
F.R.Y. - Kosovo
F.R.Y. - Serbia (without Kosovo)
F.R.Y. - Montenegro
F.Y.R. of Macedonia
Total Balkans


The New Fast IT and Telecom Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) Asia recruited and trained a IT support person in Albania to facilitate IT functions within the region. In addition, co-ordination between WFP Headquarters, FITTEST Asia and the Africa Bureau resulted in a staffing plan and equipment list for the Mozambique flood emergency.


FRY - Kosovo

The situation in Mitrovica remains extremely tense. WFP expects to resume operations in the northern portion of the city sometime in early March, pending stabilisation of the situation. In addition, the area around Gjilan has been experiencing an increase in ethnic violence. WFP operations have not been affected to date.

The Kosovo wide information campaign is slated to commence during the week of 6 March. The campaign will include radio messages, pamphlets, posters, and newspaper advertisements encouraging beneficiaries to de-register from the food aid lists if they are able to provide their own basic food needs. In addition, informational focus groups will continue to be held throughout the initial phase down period.

The second Food Economy Assessment for Kosovo has been completed and the reports are expected by mid-March.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) - Serbia (excluding Kosovo)

The situation in the southern municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac, and Medvedja along the safety zone is very tense. WFP operations have not been seriously affected to date.

WFP Belgrade held a meeting with ACF, IISA, CRS and CARE on 25 February to further discuss co-operation within Serbia. In addition, separate meetings were held with CRS and CARE to discuss distribution issues.

WFP monitors visited 34 municipalities in which distributions have been completed. The monitors visited municipal authorities, centres for social welfare and pensioner associations.

FRY - Montenegro

The Yugoslav Army has established control points and barricades near the recently reopened border crossing between Montenegro and Albania. The crossing remains open. Although tensions are increasing, WFP operations have not been affected.

On 19-20 February, WFP organised seminars for the MRC local branch secretaries. The objective of the seminars was to present the WFP Year 2000 programme and to discuss future co-ordination of activities. WFP representatives and MRC secretaries also discussed the successes and problems of the WFP operations during the last year. Overall, the secretaries expressed their satisfaction over the co-operation between MRC and WFP. The decision to suspend distribution to refugees in private accommodations until exact numbers of beneficiaries are determined was agreed upon as was the new refugee criteria.

WFP monitors visited collective centres in southern Montenegro. During the visits, beneficiary lists were reviewed and beneficiary interviews were conducted. No major problems were found during the visits.

As a follow-up to the interagency monitoring initiative, a meeting was organised by IFRC to further discuss the organisation of the monitoring throughout Montenegro and to get a common understanding of the questions in the joint monitoring form prepared by WFP.


UNHCR has undertaken a number of surveys in order to collect exact statistics on the number of refugees remaining in FYRoM. The fourth survey was recently completed and resulted in the following:

Number of refugees in host families: 6,699
Number of refugees in collective centres: 2,433
Number of undocumented refugees: (approx) 8,000
Total number of refugees in FYRoM: 17,132

UNHCR is now in the process of identifying and registering undocumented refugees. This population includes Serbs from Serbia, Roma and other minority groups. WFP is closely monitoring the outcome of the verification and registration as it will have an impact on the current WFP planning figure.

At the regular monthly planning meeting, it was agreed by WFP, IFRC, MRC, CRS, and UNHCR that the double distribution system for refugees and host families will continue. It was further agreed that distribution to social cases will be done on a monthly basis.

WFP distributed a draft geographical chart of the food aid programme in FYRoM. WFP, UNHCR and the IFRC/Macedonian Red Cross (MRC) agreed to provide food on an ad hoc basis to refugees who are leaving collective centres for host families.


WFP Albania continues to promote relief activities such as Food for Work (FFW). WFP and Balkan Sunflower (international NGO) discussed the second phase of the FFW activities in Bathore, Tirana. The first phase focused on community work to clean up garbage in the area. In addition, ADRA has submitted a proposal for a water well FFW project to WFP for review and approval.


The Balkans Regional Office has decided not to resume the WFP Air Bridge between Pristina and Rome. This decision was made based on the re-opening of the Pristina Airport to commercial air.


Confirmed contributions to EMOP 6136.01 as of 7 March 2000 amount to approximately 30.1 million dollars (24.76%). The current shortfall of 91.7 million dollars (75.24%) is a major concern to the Balkans Operation.