BUREAU FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE (BHR)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
- USAID/OFDA shelter programs are drawing to a close: emergency shelter kit distributions are complete, 100 percent of timber for the 7,900 USAID/OFDA roofing packages is in Kosovo, and 85 percent of these roofing packages have been distributed to beneficiaries as of January 26. The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has also programmed 100 percent of the 3,024 roofing packages from the USAID/OFDA roofing depot in Ferizaj.
- As winter sets in, remaining emergency repairs of damaged and destroyed homes is becoming more difficult. Several agencies have noted that the cold weather has slowed shelter projects in recent weeks because of the inability of villagers to work in the harsh conditions and the difficulty of working with cement in cold temperatures.
- Under USAID/OFDA's Emergency Response Initiative (ERI), the DART has procured 500 additional roofing packages, as well as stoves, styrofoam for insulation, carpeting, windows, and doors to create warm rooms for those with emergency needs. As of January 27, the DART has received requests under the ERI program for 294 roofing packages, 89 warm room kits, 195 doors, carpeting for 154 rooms, and 129 windows.
- USAID/OFDA has developed a pamphlet of instructions for beneficiaries on the construction of a warm room using USAID/OFDA Emergency Response Initiative (ERI) materials, including exterior/interior doors, one double-pane insulated window, two self-made windows, a stove, a 25 square meter suspended ceiling with insulation, a 25 square meter floor matting with insulation, and insulating foam.
- UNMIK has called on various donors and agencies involved in housing repair and reconstruction to follow a common repair/reconstruction approach in order to coordinate beneficiary selection criteria, common standards of rehabilitation, flexible implementation mechanisms, and cooperation among municipal/regional administrations.
- UNHCR reports that there are currently 6,600 people living in temporary community shelters in Kosovo and only 1,500 of these people sought shelter in temporary centers after December 1. Organizations are finding that those remaining in tents or inadequate accommodation are doing so because they prefer to stay on their own land for fear of losing it or losing their remaining livestock.
- Snowfall over the past few days in Kosovo has limited the mobility of vehicles throughout the province, but particularly in the rural regions and at the border with Macedonia. The Blace border with Macedonia was closed periodically earlier in the week due to the snow, and as of January 26, is only open to vehicles with chains. KFOR notes that heavier vehicles may have problems crossing the border. KFOR reserves the right to close main supply routes in Kosovo if weather conditions are adverse to safe travel.
- The European Union donated 22 snowplows to UNMIK on January 14. These plows, along with another eight donated earlier, will be used to clear main roads within and leading to Kosovo, according to UNHCR. UNMIK will use four of the snowplows to address needs within Pristina and leading to the Slatina Airport. The other 18 plows will clear the main supply routes.
- Pristina's Slatina Airport reopened to commercial air traffic on January 11, with two slots per day, Monday through Friday, for commercial flights. Since the airport reopened, some 4,000 civilian passengers have arrived, 500 of whom were returning refugees. Also, 150,000 kilograms of freight has been flown in, much of it humanitarian aid.
- The power situation in Kosovo is relatively stable at this time and there are currently no official restrictions on power output (such as the earlier schedule of two hours of power on, alternating with six hours off). The situation has improved from two weeks ago, when a fire caused Kosovo "B" to shut down completely and only one unit of Kosovo "A" was working.
- Now, two units of Kosovo "A" and one unit of Kosovo "B" are operating, producing a combined output of 400 - 450 megawatts. Along with electricity imports, Kosovo currently has enough power to meet most of the demand.
- According to UNMIK, preliminary estimates indicate that it will take approximately two months to repair the unit of Kosovo "B" power plant that was damaged in a fire two weeks ago.
- On January 21, in a ceremony led by SRSG Bernard Kouchner, the first members of the Kosovo Protection Corps (TMK) were sworn in. The TMK will be a civil security corps that, among other things, will be involved in helping people face the winter, rebuilding homes, and refurbishing public buildings and utilities.
- Selection of TMK members is still ongoing, and will be completed in the next few weeks. UNMIK expects the TMK to be fully operational by September 2000.
To date, the U.S. Government (USG) has provided more than $473 million in response to the Kosovo crisis since March 1998.
FFP: $ 70,600,000
OTI: $ 12,465,665
DOS/Population, Refugees and Migration: $209,036,475
DOD: $ 47,949,000