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Continued ADRA projects in Kosovo surpass 20 million in rehabilitation assistance

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PRISTINA, KOSOVO-The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) continues to actively assist the Kosovars as they put their lives back together. ADRA's shelter, educational, water and sanitation, health and community service projects surpass US$20 million in rehabilitation assistance for the returned refugees.
ADRA Kosovo has four shelter programs, valued at more than US$8.5 million, including the rehabilitation of 1,625 houses. The shelter project for unfinished houses, funded by the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), concludes at the end of February with more than 180 houses already completed and a further 60 houses due for completion this month. This project now provides shelter for more than 270 families (more than 1,900 people). "Recent large refugee movements in the Mitrovica and Gjakova regions have put an additional demand on shelter," says Paul Dulhunty, ADRA Kosovo operations director. "ADRA is seeking to fund the construction of more shelters in this area."

ADRA Japan and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) are funding a winterization project in the Skenderaj and Glogavac regions, expected to be completed by the end of this month. As a result, nearly 1,100 homes will be completely rehabilitated, providing housing for 15,000 people. In December 1999, ADRA finished winterizing 120 family homes (accommodations for 700 people) in Gjakova, a project funded by the German Foreign Ministry.

Through ADRA's shelter project in Vushtrri, also funded by OFDA, nearly 200 homes have roofing materials, doors and windows supplied, and complete construction is due to be completed this month. This project will make shelter accommodations available for approximately 500 families. Approximately 40 families (240 beneficiaries) are already residing in these shelters.

ADRA has several educational projects valued at nearly US$7 million, sponsored by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the U.N. International Children's Fund (UNICEF). The programs include the rehabilitation of 83 schools, all of which are available for occupation, and 77 of them are already completed. The educational projects also include re-furnishing, re-equipping and providing sanitation for the schools and mine awareness programs. ADRA finished the child-to-child mine awareness education project successfully, sponsored by UNICEF, at the end of December 1999. Four hundred children were taught how to avoid the risk of being hurt or maimed by a mine. Due to the project's success, UNICEF has asked ADRA to continue it.

ADRA is operating an emergency water and well rehabilitation and sanitation services project, valued at more than US$1.4 million. A total of 2,055 contaminated wells were cleaned and rehabilitated and 560 latrines constructed since the project began in July 1999. Approximately 77 villages (more than 10,600 households) received support in basic sanitation and public education. This project is sponsored by OFDA.

In the municipality of Urosevac, ADRA cleaned and rehabilitated another 100 wells, constructed 100 latrines and septic tanks, and installed a 600-meter (1,980 feet) free flow system, funded by United States Kosovo Forces (US-KFOR).

ADRA is operating two agricultural programs valued at nearly US$925,000. The livestock health program, which ended mid-January 2000, included the vaccination of 11,500 cattle and more than 2,000 poultry in 50 villages. This project was funded by ADRA donors in New Zealand and Australia. The farm mechanization project includes the contribution of a dozen tractors and 12 sets of 4 implements (plow, hoe, fertilizer tool, etc.) from ADRA donors in Czech Republic.

ADRA started a new health project in Kosovo in January 2000, after completing three other projects in the same month. The school oral health project that started in January, valued at more than US$70,000, includes the visitation of two professional dentists to area schools. Dr. Reg Araujo of ADRA is also appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to design the draft of the Oral Health Policy for Kosovo. The project is being funded by ADRA donors in United Kingdom and Norway.

Two health projects scheduled to be completed January 31, 2000, are the mobile surgical unit (MSU) and MSU vehicle and start-up medicine, together valued at more than US$330,000. The MSU is functioning since December 2, 1999, under the supervision of Dr. Jeevan Johnson from ADRA Albania, one of the first people to arrive in Kosovo following the crisis. The unit is providing emergency medical care to the residents and the medical training of several medical professionals in the Skenderaj region. The emergency cases undertaken are usually physical trauma due to knife-stabbing, vehicle accidents, minor burns, sepsis, post-operative sepsis, etc.

The total number of consultations made during the project is 365 in minor secondary health interventions, nearly 80 in primary health care and nearly 35 referrals made to general hospitals for major surgical interventions. The trained medical professionals will now continue the work in the emergency unit. This project is funded by ADRA donors in Denmark and the United Kingdom and by SOS Bosnia, a humanitarian organization based in the United Kingdom.

"Due to the success and the identified necessity of the project, WHO asked that ADRA continue the program for another three months in the region of Mitrovica," says Armina Johnson, ADRA Kosovo project director. The extended project, valued at US$377,538, started February 1, 2000, with donations from ADRA Netherlands and United Kingdom.

The Primary Health Project funded by ADRA Japan, with two expatriate medical teams supervised by Dr. Johnson, has provided primary health care to more than 6,000 people in the south region of Kosovo since July 1999. The health project also included vaccinations for more than 750 children in 24 schools and was completed in December 1999.

Through several community service projects run through the last half of 1999, valued at more than US$1.3 million, ADRA assisted more than 8,000 families (59,000 beneficiaries) through arrival centers, referral centers, emergency deliveries, hotline services and temporary community shelters. In Gjakova, two classes of women's initiative courses graduated with 35 members successfully completing a three-month course in hairdressing and dress-making, organized by ADRA.

ADRA's International office, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, continues to accept monetary donations for its relief efforts in Kosovo. To make a donation, please call ADRA's toll-free number 1-800-424-ADRA (2372). To make an online donation or to find out more about ADRA, visit the web site at www.adra.org.

Contact: Beth Schaefer, Media Relations Manager
Phone: (301) 680-6355 Fax: (301) 680-6370