An estimated 20,296 families (121,776 beneficiaries) have benefited from USAID/OFDA's shelter programs as of December 1. To date, USAID/OFDA implementing partners have received 100 percent of USAID/OFDA emergency shelter kits and have distributed 98 percent of the kits to 20,296 beneficiary families.
Approximately 71 percent of the timber and 100 percent of the plastic for roofing packages has been received in Kosovo, with 37 percent -2,906 packages - distributed to date. Of the potential 16,300 to 20,800 families who will receive USAID/OFDA -funded roof repairs, 36 percent have already received a roof kit.
USAID/OFDA has completed delivery of lumber to Mitrovica and Vushtri for use in urban shelter repairs, and between December 1 and December 3 Peja received approximately 60 trucks of lumber for urban shelter programs, completing USAID/OFDA deliveries of lumber throughout Kosovo for urban shelter repairs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most hospitals in Kosovo have met the basic conditions to carry them through the winter. However, WHO reports that the UNMIK health group will need to provide money to regional hospitals quickly to maintain these conditions, since several hospitals only have fuel for about one month.
Despite the generally good conditions, problems remain in some hospitals. Gjilan (Gnjilane) and Gjakova (Djakovica) hospitals are without heat and have problems with the water supply because they lack functioning generators. KFOR has offered to repair the generator at the Gjakova hospital. Gjilan hospital also has an irregular supply of drugs. WHO reports that the Peja (Pec) tuberculosis hospital is in extremely poor condition with no prospect of repair. An emergency plan has been developed to continue treatment of tuberculosis patients in a vacant department of the Peja general hospital if temperatures drop too low in winter.
Resumption of regular immunization services in Kosovo will still require a lot of work, according to two rapid assessments coordinated by UNICEF. Of 140 continuous immunization service sites assessed, almost half had no cold chain and 48 percent had no electricity, while the remainder face severe restrictions on electricity. Nearly one third of the sites visited had no immunization files, and vehicle support for vaccination services has dropped from 23 to six, while the number of health workers conducting immunizations has dropped by one third. WHO reports that many of these problems are currently being addressed.
USAID/OFDA-funded International Medical Corps (IMC) mobile clinics are supporting the EPI vaccination program in Kosovo by providing transport to vaccination teams and monitoring.
WHO reports that UNMIK's joint civil commission for health has approved temporary regulations for controlling the import, wholesale and sale of pharmaceuticals in Kosovo. The regulations will introduce a system of import licenses for the commercial import of pharmaceuticals. Donated medicines will also require authorization and approval of UNMIK in order to be allowed into Kosovo. The objective, according to WHO, is to apply set criteria to prevent importation of unsuitable or inappropriate donations.
Pristina University's infectious diseases hospital has received over 500 hepatitis A cases during the past five months, twice as many as in previous years. In response, WHO has asked Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres (PSF) to ensure that enough drug supplies are available and that health care staff have enough protective equipment to reduce risk of cross contamination.
IMC, USAID/OFDA's implementing partner for health care programs, has found that the need for mobile clinics is decreasing as regular health care services resume in Kosovo. Prior to October IMC operated thirteen mobile clinics throughout Kosovo, but has since cut back to seven.
IMC's seven mobile clinics operate in the municipalities of Ferizaj (Urosevac), Gjilan, Klina, Mitrovica, and Podujeva (Podujevo).
Congestion at the road border crossing from Macedonia into Kosovo has posed a severe problem for the early delivery of emergency commodities. USAID/OFDA has sought to sidestep the problem by contracting trains to carry lumber and other material into Kosovo. To date, 25 trains have arrived in Kosovo with USAID/OFDA-funded shelter material, and USAID/OFDA expects a minimum of four more trains to arrive before the end of the shelter program. One trainload provides an average of 250 roofs.
France and Germany have donated eight locomotives that are to arrive in Macedonia on December 6. The locomotives have larger capacity than many of those currently in use, and are expected to address weather-related problems that have affected the hauling capacity of smaller locomotives.
To date, the U.S. Government (USG) has provided over $452 million in response to the Kosovo crisis since March 1998.
DOS/Population, Refugees and Migration: $201,237,130