Serbia

Kosovo: Extreme winter conditions / Snowstorm DREF operation n° MDRKV005

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Situation Report
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CHF 204,963 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Red Cross organisations in Kosovo in delivering immediate assistance to some 1,200 families (6,000 beneficiaries). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Due to extremely low temperatures and windstorms followed by heavy snowfall starting in January this year, several municipalities in Kosovo have been heavily affected with many villages being cut off from road traffic and supply of goods. February 2012 brought even more snowfall and storms causing even an avalanche that resulted in nine fatalities with one person rescued and one still missing in the village of Restelica, Dragash municipality. The most affected municipalities are Dragash, Peja, Deqan, Gjakova, Istog, Skenderaj, Kamenica, Vushtrri, MItrovica, Novo Brde, Viti, Gracanica, Rahovec, Podujeva, Klina, Prishtina, Kacanik, Prizren, Obiliq, Malisheva, Suhareka, Shtime, Strpce, Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan. There are shortages of food and other essential goods, as the population was not prepared for such a harsh winter with an extreme weather lasting more than three weeks. The situation is complicated by frequent electricity as the power supply infrastructure is unable to satisfy the extreme demand. The communication with many villages remains hampered due to inaccessibility and electricity/ communication cuts. Approximately 3,800 families (19,000 people) are affected, and Red Cross organizations estimate that 1,200 families need immediate assistance in food and non food items.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 16th May 2012; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 16th August 2012).